Sports Roundup: Softball finds success in Florida

David Roman


After making it to the championship game of the Under Armour Invitational in Clearwater, Fla., the softball team fell 4-2 against fellow Big East team USF on March 8. The team went 4-1 in the tournament defeating Boston University 1-0, Robert Morris 6-3, Western Michigan 7-2 and Loyola Chicago 4-0.

Villanova played the Western Michigan Broncos in the first game on March 7. The Wildcats came out of the top of the first with a 3-0 lead after an RBI single from senior Megan Morese and a two run homer by junior Eryn Teague put the ‘Cats on the board. The Broncos attempted to respond to ‘Nova’s strong first inning, but they were only able to rally one run to make the score 3-1, after the completion of the first.

The Broncos earned another run in the bottom of the third to make the score 3-2, after an RBI single to right. The team was able to rack up two more runs after sophomore Christina Botkins stole home after reaching base on a throwing error. Senior Jackie Dempsey crossed the plate on another error by Western Michigan.

It was in the sixth inning that Villanova added to its lead after freshman Shannon O’Brien hit a sacrifice bunt sending freshman Tessa Braga across the plate who had singled and reached second on a throwing error. Junior Danielle Maricle, who singled, was able to score after an RBI single by Morese, bringing Villanova’s lead to five runs.

Freshman Caitlyn Delahaba earned her sixth win of the season after throwing five innings. Senior Megan Hord closed the game allowing just one hit and striking out four batters.

Delhaba earned herself another win Saturday evening, throwing a complete game allowing only six hits and striking out nine, when the girls shutout Loyola-Chicago with a 4-0 win.

The game stayed scoreless until the fifth inning when the ‘Cats exploded with their bats. It was an RBI single by Maricle that helped Botkins cross the plate for the first run of the evening. The bottom of the sixth inning is when the scoring spree continued for ‘Nova. Freshman Jamie O’Hara, a pinch runner, scored on a throwing error putting the ‘Cats up 2-0. Another pinch runner, sophomore Stephanie Zrebiec was the third run of the game after freshman Kristi Burlin reached on a fielder’s choice. It was a single by Botkins that drove Teague home to help them reach the 4-0 lead that won them the game.

The championship game was a heartbreaker though as the team fell 4-2 to USF on Sunday afternoon. USF found the scoreboard fast as they took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, and then added one more run to the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth. In the top of the fourth, Zrebiec and senior Lauren Peterson were able to cross the plate after the Bulls’ pitcher walked a few batters. USF scored one more in the bottom of the fourth to bring the score to 4-2.

The loss snapped a seven game winning streak for the Wildcats, but they will be back in action to host their home opener double header against Marist on March 19 at 2:30 p.m. – K.M.

Track and Field

Continuing their stellar season, both the men’s and women’s track teams found success at both the Alex Wilson Invitational hosted by Notre Dame and the Eastern Collage Athletic Conference Championships over the previous weekend.

On March 6, the men’s distance medley qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships with a time of 9:30.37. The team, made up of seniors Sean Tully and Elvis Lewis and sophomores Jason Apwah and Matthew Gibney, finished third in their section and fifth overall.

Tully began the medley event by running the 1200-meter race in 2:55.8. Apwah ran the 800-meter race in 1:48.9. Lewis ran the 400-meter race in 47.2, while Gibney finished with the mile, posting a mark of 3:58. Only 15 squads qualified for the nationals this upcoming weekend.

Tully also found success on his own, running an NCAA provisional-qualifying time in the 800-meter race. The time put him in the top five in the country, while guaranteeing him a spot in the championships as well. Sophomore Chris Williams also ran an NCAA provisional time in the 800-meter race by finishing in 1:50.11.

Additionally, the women’s team also found victory in South Bend, Ind., and at the ECAC championships. At the Alex Wilson Invitational, sophomore Sheila Reid and senior Frances Koons qualified for the Indoor Championships in the mile on March 7. Reid finished second in the race with a time of 4:37.7, setting her own provisional time by eight seconds. Koons also set a provisional time with a mark of 4:37.79.

At the ECAC championships, sophomore Amanda Marino won the 5,000-meter title, finishing in another provisional time of 16:18.21. She beat her previous best time by 15 seconds. Freshmen Shericka Ward, sophomore Kristen Mahon and junior Makalia Griffith also qualified for the nationals at the ECACs.

With the season coming to a close, all qualifying athletes will have one last chance to improve on what has already been a stellar season. Although the indoor track season is over, the athletes will start a new season quickly as the outdoor season is just two weeks away.

The qualifying runners will compete in the NCAA Indoor Championships tomorrow in College Station, Texas. The Championships will conclude on Saturday. – D.R.