The softball team opened its third weekend of Big East Conference play and its second weekend on its new field, hosting the Seton Hall Pirates on Saturday. The ‘Cats were looking for their first win in the new softball complex but came up short, falling in both games of the doubleheader, 6-5 in game one and 7-5 after 11 innings in game two.
In game one, Seton Hall got an early lead, scoring in the second and fourth innings, marking an early 3-0 Villanova deficit. ‘Nova did not start its scoring for the day until the bottom of the fourth inning with the top of the order due at the plate.
Both senior Sheri Donley and junior Jess Curtis got on base with singles. A line-drive double by senior Cassie Koenig enabled both runners to score, making the score 3-2. Koenig moved to third base on a throw to the plate the play before and scored off an RBI single by sophomore Meghan Morese. With the three runs, the score was tied 3-3 after four innings and became a whole new ball game.
However, the Pirates answered Villanova’s runs in the fifth, again scoring two runs of their own, putting them in the lead 5-3. But Donley, up again for ‘Nova in the fifth, had an answer for those Pirate runs. She hit a two-run homerun over the left field fence to tie the score at five.
The Pirates got the best of the Villanova pitching staff, however, and hit a homerun in the top of the seventh that was never answered by the Villanova bats. Both sophomore Laura Determan and junior Nicci Ward pitched for Villanova in the loss.
Hopeful that game two would be different, Villanova came out ready to avenge its earlier loss. However, its efforts both offensively and defensively turned up short, with the ‘Cats losing the second game 7-5 after battling for 11 innings.
Seton Hall again came out with an early lead, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning stemming from Villanova errors in the field and walks at the plate.
But in the bottom of the second inning, the ‘Cats answered with an RBI double by Koenig to score two runs. Morese and freshman Jess O’Boyle added their own RBI doubles to score the runners and give Villanova its first lead of the day with a score of 5-3.
With her RBI double in the fourth, Koenig recorded her 20th RBI of the season.
Later in the game, freshman Eryn Teague smashed a double to left centerfield that looked like it was going over the fence for a game-winning homerun. However, the ball stayed in the park, and Teague ended up on second base. In an attempt to score the runner and win the game, freshman Katie Verruni hit a line-drive shot to right field that the Pirate defense caught in an amazing effort. With a base-running mistake by ‘Nova, the scoring attempt came up short, and the inning ended early.
The Pirates scored off a two-run homerun in the top of the 11th inning, and Villanova was unable to answer those runs, losing 7-5. Both junior Kat Walsh and Determan pitched for Villanova.
With the two losses, Villanova fell to 1-7 in the Big East Conference and 17-18 overall.
There was one highlight from the last few weeks of play for Villanova: four ‘Nova hitters have hitting streaks. Curtis is currently sitting on a seven-game hit streak, and Morese has a five-game hit streak. Both of the captains, Donley and Koenig, extended their own hit streaks to six games.
Villanova’s doubleheader against St. John’s, scheduled for last Saturday, was postponed due to harsh weather conditions. The Wildcats will play the Red Storm on April 26.