Wildcats ride late season four game winning streak

Paul Martucci

After a long, difficult season highlighted by close losses and a disappointing 2-12 Big East record, it would be easy for a team to give up and prepare for next season.

The Villanova softball team, on the other hand, has done exactly the opposite. In the face of adversity, the Wildcats have continued to battle through a grueling season. Consequently, the ‘Cats now find themselves on a four game winning streak, with double header wins over St. Joseph’s and Delaware.

‘Nova started off the week with two games on Saturday in Piscataway against Rutgers. Falling behind early against the Scarlet Knights, the Wildcats lost the first game, 9-1. As the team has done all season, though, the ‘Cats continued to fight. Meghan Morese hit a home run in the second game, but despite scoring first, the team failed to produce enough offense and fell to Rutgers, 4-3.

The two-game series with Rutgers left the Wildcats with a 9-28 overall record and a 2-12 Big East record. The team, however, continued to accept the difficulties and focus on the positives.

Junior catcher Cassie Koenig echoed the general team feeling. “Of course it’s frustrating,” she said. “I mean, who likes to lose? But we are pulling it together, one game at a time.”

That sense of pulling things together was soon to be realized. Three days later, the Wildcats played a double header with Philadelphia rival St. Joseph’s. With offensive explosiveness, highlighted by a three-run home run by Meghan Morese, the ‘Cats leaped to a 9-8 victory in the first game.

In the second game, Morese hit a second home run on the day and freshman pitcher Laura Determan allowed only one run, notching the ‘Cats a 6-1 victory and a sweep over St. Joseph’s.

Riding the winning wave, ‘Nova headed into a double header at home against Delaware on the following day. The Blue Hens, despite their winning record, failed to match the offensive firepower of the Wildcats.

Highlighting the offense, Morese hit yet another long ball – her third home run in the past two days – to cap off a four-run sixth inning which left the ‘Cats up, 6-2. Villanova won the first match, 6-4.

In the second game, the Wildcats matched their best offensive production of the season. Scoring ten runs in a mercy rule shortened contest, the ‘Cats knocked out the Blue Hens, 10-0, in five innings. Freshman catcher/outfielder Natalie Hord smacked a home run in the second inning to give the Wildcats an early 2-0 lead.

Up 4-0 going into the fifth inning, ‘Nova exploded for six runs to qualify for the early ending. Koenig knocked in the inning’s fourth, fifth and sixth runs with a three-run home run to end the rout.

After the two consecutive series sweeps, the Wildcats now stand at 13-28 with a 2-12 record in the Big East. The remaining schedule looms ominously, with match-ups against Notre Dame and Louisville still to come. Regardless, the ‘Cats hope to add to the latest string of wins.

“We finish up our conference games with four of the toughest teams in the Big East,” Koenig said. “Two of them were nationally ranked. So hopefully, this momentum will allow us to play our best, give them a good game and win some.”