Softball Wins Three On The Road Against St. John’s


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Softball Wins Three On The Road Against St. John’s

Meghann Morhardt, Staff Writer

After a three-game sweep against Providence last weekend, Villanova softball carried that momentum through last weekend with another three-game sweep on the road against Big East opponent St. John’s. On Saturday, the Wildcats won game one of the double header, 16-4, and the second game, 16-6. On Sunday afternoon, a much closer third game resulted in a 3-1 win for the ‘Cats. 

The Wildcats recorded 18 hits from seven players in their first victory. Senior pitcher Paige Rauch and sophomore outfielder Dani Dabroski each had four hits, two RBIs in five at-bats. Senior Julia DaCosta and junior Ryan Henry both hit home runs in the sixth inning. 

Villanova came out strong, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning behind RBI singles from junior Megan Kern and freshman Tess Cites, along with a sacrifice fly from DaCosta that scored another run. 

The Wildcats tallied two unearned runs in the top of the second to stretch the lead to 5-0, but the Red Storm was able to respond. With three runs in the bottom of the second, St. John’s cut the lead to 5-3. 

The third and fifth innings were powered by Dabroski and Rauch, each with RBI singles in the third. Rauch had another RBI single to score junior Sydney Hayes and advance Dabroski in the fifth. Rauch would then advance to second while Dabroski scored on an error by the Red Storm, stretching the lead again to 9-3. 

St. John’s earned a run back in the bottom of the fifth, but that would be it on the offensive end for the Red Storm. Henry and DaCosta responded with solo homers in the sixth inning to extend the lead to 11-4. 

The ‘Cats scored five runs in the top of the seventh inning, followed by a scoreless relief inning from freshman Caroline Pellicano to secure the 16-4 victory. 

Villanova carried this momentum into the second game, tallying 16 runs again with nine Wildcats crossing the plate. 

Senior Angela Giampolo and sophomore Chloe Smith each recorded three hits on five and four at-bats with one and three RBIs, respectively. 

Villanova started off much slower in game two, trailing 5-1 after a four-run second inning from St. John’s. However, the ‘Cats responded with five runs of their own in the third to take a 6-5 lead. The first two runs came from back-to-back RBI singles from Giampolo and Smith. 

Pellicano relieved senior pitcher Anissa Amarillas in the bottom of the third and allowed just one more Red Storm run in the remaining three innings. 

Following two singles from Smith and Giampolo, DaCosta made the game 9-5 with a three-run homer in the fourth inning. 

Villanova scored seven runs, four unearned, in the fifth inning. The ‘Cats had two RBI hits and were aided by four walks and an error by the Red Storm, allowing them to take a 10-run lead and employ the mercy rule, ending the game after just five innings. 

The two teams faced off one more time on Sunday afternoon with the ‘Cats coming out on top to complete the sweep. This game was not as convincing as the first two.

Rauch pitched a complete game, allowing just four hits and one run on the day. This improved Rauch’s season record to 15-2 with an earned run average of 2.15. Rauch added to this stellar performance with two hits and an RBI in the game. 

St. John’s took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when its leadoff batter scored after reaching base on a single. Villanova was not able to respond until the third inning when Dabroski scored on a Rauch RBI double after reaching base on a fielding error from the Red Storm. 

The score stayed tied until the top of the fifth when the ‘Cats loaded the bases on a walk for Dabroski and a single from Rauch followed by Giampolo getting hit by a pitch. Smith made contact and earned an RBI on a fielder’s choice that scored Dabroski. DaCosta notched a single to left field that scored Giampolo and gave the ‘Cats a 3-1 lead. 

Rauch continued her dominance throughout the remaining two innings to close the game and secure the victory. 

The Wildcats are now 26-10 overall and 10-1 in Big East play. They will host Delaware on Wednesday at 3 p.m. and Princeton on Thursday at 2:30 p.m., before traveling to Seton Hall for a three-game series this weekend.