Softball squares off against city rival St. Joseph’s

Justin Adamshick

The bad news is that the Wildcat softball team had to settle for a split in its doubleheader with city rival St. Joseph’s on Tuesday. However, more importantly, the good news is that the hot bats seem to be returning to the Villanova lineup as the Wildcats head down the backstretch of their regular season.

Villanova scored eight runs in the two games, bouncing back from a 5-3 loss in the opener to take the nightcap, 5-2. Entering the doubleheader with a solid record of 25-10, the Hawks gave Villanova all it could handle. In game one, the Hawks got off to a blazing start, scoring two runs in the first inning on a home run, serving notice that the Hawks came to play. The Hawks padded their lead by scoring a run on an RBI double in the third inning.

St. Joseph’s all but put it away in the fifth inning when freshman Alicia Cunic slapped a two-out, bases loaded double to left field scoring two runs and making the count 5-0. Villanova showed some signs of life in the sixth inning as they scored three runs to get back into the game.

A St. Joseph’s fielding error at third base with two outs ignited the Villanova rally. Not surprisingly, Sara Carlson came through yet again in a clutch situation and knocked in two runs with a double to left field to end the Wildcat scoring drought. Allison Wisniewski made it back-to-back doubles and her efforts allowed Carlson to come around and score making things interesting at 5-3.

However, St. Joseph’s pitcher Dana Travis shut the door in the seventh inning and squelched any Villanova comeback hopes. Despite giving up a seventh inning leadoff walk to Kristen Yauch, Travis stymied any chance of a further rally by Villanova in the inning. Travis notched her first save of the season for her performance as she also successfully got St. Joseph’s out of the sixth inning jam. Brandie Adams got the win on the mound for St. Joseph’s, hurling five and two-thirds innings without giving up an earned run.

Shannon Williams started the game for Villanova and gave up five runs and seven hits in four and two-thirds innings of work. Williams did have six strikeouts, while fellow freshman Kristen Haynes whiffed three batters in relief. Villanova managed only four hits in the game, including one by Ricci Lugo. Lugo also scored a run in the loss.

After getting only four hits as a team in game one, Villanova steamrolled St. Joseph’s in game two, getting 12 hits off Travis, the game one reliever.

Villanova loaded the bases in the second inning and pushed one run across as Wisniewski scored on a sacrifice fly by Sarah Wall. St. Joseph’s got the run back in the bottom half of the inning on a strange play where the runner on third scored while Villanova had another runner caught in a run down between first and second.

Villanova got the lead in the fourth inning and never looked back as Lugo drove in two runs on a base hit. St. Joseph’s was resilient as it got back one of the runs in the bottom of the inning. However, Heather Garboden sealed the deal in the fifth inning on a two-RBI single to left field. Other hitting stars in game two were Lisa Krueger, who went 2-for-4 with a run scored and Karen Niwinski, who went 2-for-4 at the plate as well.

Theresa Hornick threw five strong innings, striking out five batters and walking none to earn her 20th victory of the season. Haynes came on in relief for the second straight game and earned her fourth save of the season in pitching two scoreless innings. Hornick has been a pillar of stability on the mound this year for the Wildcats and her efforts were rewarded when she was named the Big East Player of the Week last week.

Hornick won all four of Villanova’s games over the weekend and still has an ERA of under 1.00 for the season.

Villanova has two crucial doubleheaders at home this weekend against Big East rivals Syracuse and Connecticut.

Both doubleheaders, tomorrow and Sunday, begin at noon at the Villanova softball field behind Sullivan Hall.