Softball: Wildcats split weekend series with Louisville and USF



Kate McAvey

The softball team went 2-for-4 this weekend after taking both of the second games in their doubleheader matchups against Louisville on April 5 and USF on April 6. The team lost 3-0 in the first game Sunday but earned an impressive 8-6 victory in the second game. Sunday’s game followed the same format as matchup one, ending in a 9-5 loss and a close 2-1 win in the second game.

Game one of the Louisville series ended Villanova’s four-game winning streak. The ‘Cats were unable to cross the plate, leaving the bases loaded in the bottom of the second and also stranding runners in the third, fourth and fifth innings. Louisville found the scoreboard quickly in the first inning. After loading the bases on a single and two walks, an RBI double by junior Kassie Stanfill gave Louisville the 2-0 lead. The Cardinals picked up one more run in the fifth on a sac fly, giving them all the runs needed to earn the 3-0 victory. The Wildcats’ two hits of the game were off the bats of sophomore Danielle Maricle and freshman Allie Heon, who both went 1-for-3.

The Wildcats found their rhythm in the second game, playing a tight competition against the Cardinals. Louisville again started the game quickly, coming out in the first inning with a 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the second, the Wildcats’ bats exploded. With one out, the rally started with a walk by sophomore Erynn Teague, a single by Heon and Caroline Brown gaining first after being hit by a pitch. The bases were loaded for ‘Nova. An RBI single by freshman pinch hitter Kristen Jellinski knotted the game at one. Heon crossed the plate on a sac fly by senior Jackie Dempsey, followed by a two-run RBI single from Maricle. With a 4-1 advantage, the ‘Cats were able to put one more run on the board before the inning was up, as senior Jessica Curtis drove in Maricle with an RBI single.

The Cardinals were able to pick up two more runs in the third, but the Wildcats responded when Jellinski drove in Teague with the bases loaded to give the ‘Cats the 6-3 advantage at the bottom of the inning. The game became tied at six in the fourth after a walk, a triple and a homerun by Louisville. The Wildcats came out strong in the bottom of the sixth, as Dempsey crossed the plate on a triple by Maricle, followed by an RBI single from Teague to score one last insurance run that was enough to guarantee the 8-6 victory.

After a short rain delay on Sunday, the team got underway, once again taking the second game of the series. Game one was a grueling contest as the ‘Cat’s fell 9-5. Both teams combined for 21 hits in a two-hour-and-50-minute contest.

USF was the only team on the scoreboard until the ‘Cats were able to score in the bottom of the fourth with a single up the middle by Brown, plating one run to make the score 2-1. ‘Nova did most of its hitting in the sixth inning, leaving three stranded at the end of the inning but scoring five to take the lead to 6-3. The Wildcats could not hold their lead, however, and the Bulls were able to cross the plate six times in the top of the seventh to take the 9-6 lead. The Wildcats were not able to respond in the bottom of the inning, ending the game in defeat.

The Wildcats came out strong in the second game of the series and ended USF’s six-game win streak with a 2-1 victory.

‘Nova did all of its scoring in the second inning when it loaded the bases and Dempsey smashed a single to score Heon, followed by a single off the bat of Maricle which brought Botkins around. The Bulls were able to score one run in the third, but it was not enough to catch the ‘Cats, who brought home the win with pitcher Nicci Ward throwing a complete game by allowing just three hits and one unearned run while striking out four USF hitters.

The ‘Cats will travel to the Midwest this weekend for doubleheaders against DePaul on Saturday and Notre Dame on Sunday.