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Oct. 12, 1997

Wildcats finish Strong at St. Peter's Tournament

Jersey City, NJ- The Villanova Softball team traveled to St. Peter's College on October 12 to participate in the St. Peter's Fall Invitational. Nova won two of three games to place second in the tournament.

Game 1:

Long Island University 4
Villanova 2

Villanova struggled early in the game and spotted LIU a 3-0 lead. Senior Jenn Cornelius took the mound and gave up five hits in the first two innings. Three errors by the Wildcat defense allowed LIU to score three times.

Cornelius and her teammates fought back and played well for the remainder of the game allowing LIU to score only one more run.

Offensively, the Cats combined for five hits and two runs. Making her first start of the fall, designated Player Mia Brickhouse was 1 for 2 with a single.

Coach Maria DiBernardi was disappointed, yet optimistic, "We definitely did not play our best. We had some errors that helped LIU score. But, we were able to fight back and score. We didn't play great, but we never gave up. "

Game 2:

Villanova 13
Fordham 2

Villanova came out fighting in game two and jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Senior Jessica DeLuca started the game with a triple and Kelli McCoy ripped a single to score DeLuca, giving the cats a 1-0 lead.

Next sophomore Megan O'Leary stepped up to the plate and ripped a 2 run homer to give Villanova a 3-0 lead.

Senior Pitcher Brenda Roach took the mound for Villanova. Roach went the distance for the Nova, allowing only five hits and one earned run. O'Leary (3 for 3, 3 RBI and 1 HR), Kelli McCoy and Jessica DeLuca led the wildcats, who combined for 12 hits. Nova scored 8 runs in the fifth inning to end the game.

"It was great to see our team come back with so much confidence after a tough loss. Everyone adjusted to the different pitching, and hit the ball hard. It is encouraging to see everyone hitting the ball. It was great to give our pitcher a lead so early in the game. Brenda pitched well and stayed ahead of the batters." said Coach DiBernardi.

Game 3:

Villanova 2
St. Peter's 0

Game three proved to be a pitchers duel until the end.

Sophomore Carrie Walpole took the mound for the wildcats and pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings. Walpole gave up only 2 hits and 2 walks, while striking out one. Walpole was relieved by Freshman Keri Stoller.

Stoller allowed two hits and no runs in the last 1 1/3 innings.

Villanova took the lead in top of the fifth when Freshman Gina Defrancesco reached base with a two out single. Defrancesco was replaced by pinch runner Mia Brickhouse. Jessica DeLuca then hit a two run home run to give the cats a 2-0 lead. Stoller shut down a late rally by St. Peter's by striking out two of the last three batters.

DeLuca finished the tournament batting .750 (6 for 8, 1 single, 1 double, 2 triples, 2 HRs, and 9 RBIs).

Villanova finished their fall season with a record of 10-3.

Coach DiBernardi was pleased with the wildcat's fall season, " Our players have worked hard for five weeks.

Our seniors have stepped up and have lead the team both on and off the field. Our sophomores are confident and contributing in all situations, and our freshman have adjusted quickly to college ball and were able to gain a lot of experience this fall. I am very happy with how we have played."

The Wildcats will be traveling home for fall break to enjoy a week off from school. When they return to Villanova, they will begin their winter workout routine!

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