Villanova Softball Home Opener Set for Sunday
March 12, 2004
The Villanova Softball Field will be the site of Sunday's 2004 home opener, as the Wildcats host Cornell in a doubleheader beginning at 12:00 p.m. 'Nova brings a 7-10 record into the contest, while the Big Red are unbeaten in five games going into a doubleheader against Drexel on Saturday. Click on the PDF link below for the game notes.
Villanova's Travels End in Sunshine State
The book has finally been closed on Villanova's heavy early season travel log. The 'Cats played six games over a four-day stretch in Clearwater, Fla. at the Speedline Invitational, hosted by the University of South Florida. The Wildcats went 2-4, defeating Hofstra and Western Michigan and losing to UNLV, Illinois, Tennessee Tech and Northern Illinois. For the season, the 'Cats stand at 7-10, after participating in the Sonic Challenge in Chattanooga, Tenn. and the Cougar Classic in Houston, Texas.
Home Opener Next
The Wildcats take the field today on Villanova's campus for the first time in the 2004 season, with a doubleheader against the Ivy League's Cornell Big Red at 12:00 p.m. Last season 'Nova compiled an 18-4 record at home, on the way to a 34-15-1 overall mark. The Wildcats defeated Temple, 6-5 in the 2003 home opener as part of the Big East/Atlantic 10 Challenge. Shannon Williams was the winner in that contest.
Counting on Koller
Junior first basemen Kari Koller has continued her steady pace of improvement during her career in the early-goings of 2004. Last season, Koller started 49 games for the Wildcats, hit .307 with a team-high seven home runs and set a new single season VU record for fielding percentage by a first basemen with a .993 effort. All of that came after a year of adjustment for the Rocklin, Calif. native. Koller saw significant playing time during her rookie campaign, but hit just .221 while getting acclimated to the college game. In 2004, Koller has been 'Nova's top offensive force, and a leader in the Wildcat infield. After 17 games, she is hitting .356 with two doubles, two home runs and five RBI. The batting average and home run numbers are team-bests, as is her .533 slugging percentage. Koller's .463 on base percentage paces the regulars, and her five runs scored match Kristen Yauch and Ricci Lugo for the team lead.
Junior pitcher Shannon Williams has stepped into the role of staff ace vacated by Theresa Hornick rather nicely thus far in 2004. The Macungie, Pa. native has thrown 83.0 of Villanova's 114.1 innings to date, and has tallied a record of 7-5 with a 1.52 ERA. Williams has appeared in 15 games, starting 12 of them. Of her 12 starts, nine have been complete games and two were shutouts. Opponents are hitting just .197 off Williams, and she has struck out 61 hitters compared to just 13 walks. Going into this season, Williams ranked fifth all-time at Villanova with a 2.01 ERA, and currently has a career record of 32-11.
'Cats Lose Krueger
Villanova's senior centerfielder, Lisa Krueger, suffered a broken hand over the course of the Wildcats' early season travels, and is out indefinitely. Krueger, a 2003 First Team All-Big East selection, hit .240 over 'Nova's first 10 games, and was working on her third consecutive perfect season in the field.
There have been a few changes to Villanova's Spring 2004 schedule worth noting. Game times have been announced for two dates. On Saturday, March 20, the Wildcats will take on Quinnipiac in a home doubleheader beginning at 12:00 p.m. And on Friday, April 2, Villanova's Big East doubleheader at Pittsburgh will start at 2:00 p.m. Also, the game against Saint Joseph's, originally scheduled for Tuesday, May 11, has been moved up one day to Monday, May 10. The doubleheader will still be played at 12:00 p.m. at the Villanova Softball Field.
Wildcats Picked Second in Preseason Poll
The Villanova softball team was tabbed for second place in the conference by a vote of the league's head coaches. The 'Cats lost three seniors (Sara Carlson, Theresa Hornick and Kriste Romano) from a team that finished third in the league's regular season standings last year and advanced to the title game of the annual conference tournament. The Wildcats received 83 points and three first place votes in the poll, second only to defending champion Notre Dame.
2004 Preseason Softball Coaches' Poll
Team Points 1. Notre Dame (8) 95 2. Villanova (3) 83 3. Boston College 74 4. Seton Hall (1) 70 5. St. John's 55 Virginia Tech 55 7. Syracuse 50 8. Connecticut 48 9. Rutgers 43 10. Pittsburgh 20 11. Providence 12