May 3, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Villanova (30-23, 4-15) will take on Seton Hall (20-29, 2-16) in its final weekend of the regular season as the Wildcats look to end the season on a strong note. This weekend will also mark the end of the careers of seniors Tessa Braga, Kristi Burlin, Caitlyn Delahaba, Molly Manning, Shannon O'Brien, and Jamie O'Hara. There will be a ceremony before the first game on Saturday to honor the achievements of the seniors.
The Wildcats come in having dropped a tough series down at No. 17 USF where they twice lost by one run. In the finale, the Wildcats battled back to tie the score in the top of the seventh before the Bulls won it on a walk-off double.
Villanova enters the weekend as the 3rd best hitting team in the conference and has the 8th best hitter in O'Hara at .353. O'Hara, Manning (.348), and junior first baseman Valerie Ortega (.346) are all competing for the team batting title with three games remaining on the schedule.
Manning also leads the team in RBIs with 26, while freshman Briana Fujii has 24, followed by freshman Beth Smetana with 23. Smetana has hit a team-leading three home runs, while the Wildcats have clubbed 12 as a team.
Delahaba and Manning will likely take care of all the starts on the mound and both have had fine seasons. They continued to establish themselves as two of the better pitchers the program has ever seen. Delahaba (16-14, 2.90 ERA) is just one win shy of her personal season high and has climbed the charts in school history for many statistical categories this season. Manning (12-8, 3.18 ERA) has been consistent all year long and also finds herself near the top of many statistics in Villanova history.
The Wildcats will have to keep a close eye on Seton Hall's Kristen Kaelin who is hitting .331 with 7 home runs and 36 RBIs this season. She comes in as the Pirates best hitter. On the mound, the Pirates split their starts amongst three pitchers: Casey Moses (6-9, 2.70 ERA), Danielle DeStaso (5-12, 3.32 ERA), and Brooke Tull (3-6, 5.43 ERA).
The series will get under way at noon on Saturday with a doubleheader, followed by the final game of the season on Sunday at noon. The Senior Day ceremony will take place prior to the first game of the season.
You can watch all of the action on Nova Nation All-Access (http://www.villanova.com/allaccess/).