March 25, 2014
VILLANOVA, Pa. - After returning home last weekend for the first time in 2014, the Villanova softball team (8-15, 0-3 BIG EAST) hits the diamond for a pair of doubleheaders over the next two days. On Wednesday, the Wildcats will welcome Lehigh (11-10) to the Villanova Softball Complex at 2:30 p.m. before traveling into the city Thursday to square off against local rival Drexel (8-12) at the Vidas Athletics Complex beginning at 2:30 p.m.
Following an 8-12 mark over a series of four tournaments to begin the year, Villanova was swept in its conference opener against Georgetown (12-12, 3-0 BIG EAST). On Saturday, the Hoyas jumped out to early leads making it difficult for the Wildcats to recover and salvage the games. After falling 7-1 and 9-1 respectively, the two opponents battled to the final inning in the rubber match. However, Georgetown would score two runs in the seventh off a Villanova miscue to open conference play perfect.
Lehigh travels to the Main Line on a hot streak boasting an 11-10 record with seven consecutive victories, including three run-rule games against Hartford (2) and Colgate. The Mountain Hawks swept Colgate to open Patriot League play undefeated, which comprised of a 26-1 shellacking to open conference action. Since the two faced off in 1977, Villanova has been successful against Lehigh, owning the all-time series 28-18-1 with wins in three straight games. The Pa. foe has made the NCAA Regionals in seven of the past 10 years, including back-to-back appearances in 2011 and 2012.
"Lehigh has a very strong team with good pitching. We saw them this fall and it was a good game between us," DiBernardi added. "We haven't play Drexel in a few years but we know they always have a tough team."
Drexel has posted an 8-12 record this season and is 1-2 on its home field. Over the weekend, the Dragons opened Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) action against North Carolina Wilmington. After registering a 5-4 win in the opener, Drexel hit the skid losing, 3-1 and 10-2, to drop the series. The Wildcats have dominated Drexel since 2000, owning the Dragons 14-2 in that span with five straight wins against their local rival.
Both games against Lehigh will take place at The Villanova Softball Complex, which is located on Pike Field across from Villanova stadium and admission is free for the public. Wednesday's doubleheader will be broadcast on Nova Nation All-Access. Live stats can be followed through Gametracker.