May 5, 1998
VILLANOVA, Pa.--- Finishing the 1998 regular season with a 36-17 overall record, the Villanova softball team was named to the ECAC Tournament on Monday, May 4, as the number four seed in the four-team field. The ECAC Tournament will be held at Rutgers University on May 9-10, with the Wildcats playing the number one seeded Cornell Rams on Saturday, May 9 at 10 a.m. If Villanova defeats the 37-9 Rams, they will head to the Championship game to play the winner of No. 2 Rutgers (24-20) versus No.3 Long Island (31-14) on Sunday, May 10 at 4 p.m. The losers of games one and two will face off in the Consolation game on Sunday, May 10 at 2 p.m.
After posting a 24-28 record just one season ago and beginning the 1998 season 1-4, the Wildcats went on to win 35 out of their next 48 contests to finish the season at 36-17. With the 36 victories, Villanova broke the school record for victories in a season, passing the old mark of 35 set in 1995. Villanova also improved upon their 6-12 conference record of 1997, with an 8-6 Big East mark this season.
The Wildcats' last ECAC Tournament appearance came in 1996. Villanova tallied a 31-19 record during the regular season and took their hot streak to the tournament, where they went on to win the 1996 ECAC Championship Division I Title by beating Brown and Boston College.
The Wildcats have not faced the Rams of Cornell in 1998, but have tallied a 2-2 record against Rutgers and Long Island University. On April 8, Villanova swept the Rutgers Scarlet Knights by the scores of 4-3 and 2-0. The Cats lost both games of a doubleheader, however, to the LIU Blackbirds on April 15, dropping the first 7-1 and losing a heartbreaker 5-4 in game two.
In a season already marked by both team and individual milestones, the Villanova Wildcats can reach yet another on Saturday. With one more victory, head coach Maria DiBernardi will reach the 300 victory plateau for her career in her 14th season on the Main Line.