Softball splits series with Pittsburgh


The softball team split with the Pittsburgh Panthers in a Big East doubleheader at Trees Field Saturday, losing the first game by a score of 2-1 but winning the second 7-5.

The series pushed the Wildcats’ overall record to 17-15, while their 3-10 conference record leaves them at 12th place in the Big East.

Villanova’s pitching was solid in both games of the doubleheader. Despite suffering a loss in the first game that dropped her record to 11-12, freshman Caitlyn Delahaba pitched the entire game and allowed only four hits, while striking out six batters. However, Pittsburgh’s four hits, which were accompanied by six walks, were enough for the Panthers to score twice, while the Wildcats’ offense was only able to score once on five hits. Pittsburgh sophomore Cory Berliner, who also pitched a complete game for her team, was credited with the win.

The Wildcat offense began to wake up early in the second game, however, as freshman centerfielder Shannon O’Brien singled and then came around to score on a wild pitch, giving Villanova a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Pittsburgh would tie the game with a run in the bottom of the first, but three more runs for the Wildcats in the second inning, along with a run in the fourth and two in the fifth, kept Villanova in the lead for the rest of the contest. O’Brien’s first inning single was the first of three hits for her and the first of 15 for the Wildcats, who overpowered the Pittsburgh pitchers and forced them to make multiple substitutions on the mound.

Freshman leftfielder Tessa Braga also tallied three hits for Villanova, while junior second baseman Jess O’Boyle and freshman pitcher Molly Manning notched two hits apiece.

Manning’s success at the plate was accompanied by a commendable performance on the mound, where she allowed five hits in four innings and struck out two batters. Her effort was enough to give Villanova a 5-2 lead by the time she handed the pitching duties over to senior Megan Hord. Hord threw the final three innings of the contest and allowed just two runs on a single hit, keeping the Pittsburgh batters at bay and allowing the seven runs tallied by the Villanova offense to decide the game.

Manning was credited with the win and now boasts a 4-0 record on the season, while Hord’s performance on Saturday was enough for her to earn her sixth save of the year.

The conclusion of the series against Pittsburgh puts the Villanova team about two-thirds of the way through its regular season. The Wildcats play at home in doubleheaders against Notre Dame this Saturday and DePaul on Sunday.