Softball Sweeps DePaul


Brian Luppy/Villanovan Photography

Villanova only allowed two runs across three games against DePaul.

Katie Lewis, Staff Writer

This past weekend, Big East opponent DePaul only managed to score two runs off of a confident Villanova team in a three-game series.

After sweeping the Blue Demons, the Wildcats stand in third place in the Big East, with a 29–18 overall record and 13–5 conference record.

The Wildcats opened the series with an 8–0 mercy-rule in five innings.

Freshman Kat Gallant pitched a three-hit shutout and was perfect during the first four innings.

Senior third baseman Chloe Smith notched the first hit of the weekend with a single in the first inning. A hit to right field by senior catcher Ally Jones moved Smith to third, and another hit by senior first baseman Victoria Sebastian brought Smith home.

Graduate catcher Ryan Henry then gave the Wildcats a 4–0 lead, blasting her ninth home run of the season.

After a scoreless second and third inning, the Wildcats loaded the bases with a hit-by-pitch and singles by freshman shortstop Lilly St. Jean and senior outfielder Dani Dabroski.

Junior center fielder Tess Cites earned an RBI to score St. Jean. Smith and Jones then added two more runs with back-to-back sacrifice flies, and another Sebastian single brought the Wildcats to 8–0.

After DePaul threatened by loading the bases in the fifth inning, Gallant and the Wildcat defense shut down the Blue Demons’ bats to end the game early.

In game two, Villanova claimed a second triumph over DePaul, 6–1.

Sophomore Kelsey White was the starting pitcher and earned the win for the Wildcats, striking out three and allowing just three hits and one run during her just over five innings in the circle. Junior Caroline Pellicano relieved, surrendering two hits but striking out one to bring the Wildcats to victory.

After a scoreless first inning, the Wildcats were the first to get on the board, notching one run in the second inning after a St. Jean line drive brought a baserunner home.

The Blue Demons struck back in the fourth, scoring a run after a double, wild pitch and single, all before sophomore shortstop Ava Franz took the Wildcats out of the inning with a deft double-play.

Despite a series of threatening hits in the bottom half of the inning, the Wildcats did not take the lead until the fifth, loading the bases after two walks and a Sebastian single. White then earned a two-RBI double, and Franz singled to score two more and grant Villanova a 5–1 lead.

The Wildcats added one more run in the sixth after Cites launched a pitch to the wall for a double, Smith singled and Sebastian delivered a sacrifice fly to score Cites.

“Our bats came alive and we got big leads, so our pitchers were relaxing, and that definitely helped us play well defensively,” head coach Bridget Orchard said. “They all played well.”

Sunday’s game proved to be another mercy-rule victory, with a 9–1 final to complete the Wildcat sweep.

Gallant was back in the circle for all five innings, leading the defense with four strikeouts, while giving up just five hits and one unearned run.

The Wildcats took an early lead, tallying four runs in the first inning. Cites began with a single, then Smith got on base from a fielder’s choice. After a DePaul error brought Cites to third, redshirt sophomore Brooklyn Ostrowski brought Cites home with a single.

Another Sebastian hit brought Smith home for a 2–0 lead. Back-to-back walks and a St. Jean fielder’s choice also brought in two more runs.

Following a scoreless second inning, a walk and Henry double in the third put the two runners in position to score after another double from White.

The Blue Demons marked their only run of the game in the fifth, taking advantage of a Wildcat error.

Villanova then ended the game early in the second half of the inning, starting with a Franz home run that scored two. Cites then smashed a walk-off home run to finish the series on a high note.

Looking ahead, Villanova will face Seton Hall next weekend, from April 28th to April 30th. The Wildcats will need to sweep this series to reach their goal of replacing the Pirates as second place in the Big East.

“The biggest thing is just continuing what we’ve been doing: relaxing, playing hard and focusing on defeating Seton Hall,” Orchard said.