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Softball 6–0 in Big East After Providence Sweep

Courtesy of Villanova Athletics
Sophomore second baseman Lilly St. Jean smashed a two-run homer to help Villanova in its 8–0 mercy-rule of Providence on Friday, March 15. Villanova ended the weekend with a three-game sweep of Providence.

Villanova softball continued its undefeated Big East play this weekend, sweeping Providence in three games, 8–0, 4–1 and 17–5 and pushing its winning streak to six games.

The Wildcats opened the series on Friday with a resounding mercy rule win in five innings.

Villanova opened the scoring in the top of the third inning, tallying six runs.

After graduate catcher Ally Jones led off the inning with a walk, redshirt junior DP Brooklyn Ostrowski crushed a home run to left center, knocking in Jones for the first two runs. Later in the inning, graduate first baseman Victoria Sebastian loaded the bases with a single before freshman center fielder Elizabeth Gray scored junior right fielder Elaina Wagner and sophomore second baseman Lilly St. Jean with a single of her own.

Senior left fielder Tess Cites then scored Sebastian with a groundout. Gray came home on a double by graduate third baseman Chloe Smith.

Villanova added another two runs in the top of the fourth when St. Jean crushed a two-run home run, bringing home junior shortstop Ava Franz.

Neither team scored in the fifth. The game was called due to the mercy rule with Villanova up, 8–0.

Senior pitcher Alyssa Seidler picked up the win in the contest, scattering two hits and one walk over three scoreless innings, while striking out four.

Villanova once again emerged victorious on Saturday.

B. Ostrowski scored for Villanova on an RBI groundout from Wagner at the top of the second.

Providence scored its first run of the series with a home run in the bottom of the second.

Villanova took the lead back in the top of the third when Smith singled home Sebastian to make the score 2–1.

Neither team scored again until Villanova added two insurance runs in the top of the seventh. Jones walked with the bases loaded to force in Gray, and B. Ostrowski scored Cites on a sacrifice fly, making the score 4–1, ‘Cats.

The ‘Cats’ senior pitcher Caroline Pellicano blanked Providence in the bottom of the seventh to record her fourth save of the season.

Junior pitcher Kelsey White recorded her fourth win of the season, locking down the Friars for three and a third innings in middle relief. White struck out two while allowing just two hits and a walk.

The Wildcats concluded the weekend on Sunday with another mercy rule victory, trouncing the Friars in five innings.

Cites scored on an error in the top of the first.

The Wildcats added three more runs in the second when St. Jean hit a solo home run and Cites brought home Sebastian on a two-run bomb of her own.

It continued in the third, when Wagner cranked a home run that brought home shortstop Franz and B. Ostrowski. 

Providence added its first run of the game in the bottom of the third to cut the deficit to six runs.

Villanova responded again in the fourth inning when Jones launched a three run home run, scoring Smith and Cites. 

“I mean, [Jones] is huge [for us], obviously,” head coach Bridget Orchard said. “She’s a fifth-year senior, so she’s been there, done that. She has two championships. She’s like another coach out there for us, and she’s definitely somebody that steps up and we need her to.”

Providence added three runs in the bottom of the fourth. Villanova led, 10–3.

The ‘Cats then exploded for seven runs in the top of the fifth. Wagner scored on a passed ball, St. Jean was singled home by Smith, and center fielder Gray scored alongside Sebastian on a two run double from Jones. To round out the inning, Franz crushed a three run home run, driving in Jones and Smith. 

Providence added one more run in the bottom of the fifth, but it was not enough to avoid another mercy rule victory for Villanova.

In the third game of the series, Villanova hit five home runs, with each coming from a different player.

“We’d seen [Providence’s] pitchers the previous two days, so I thought [Villanova] did a great job of just making adjustments,” Orchard said. “They were really powerful and scored a lot of runs. I think they just locked in.”

For the Wildcats, Seidler picked up her sixth victory on the season, scattering four runs on five hits in three and a third innings. She also walked three and struck out three. 

With the series sweep, Villanova moved to 6–0 in conference play so far this season. 

“I definitely attribute it to our preseason schedule,” Orchard said. “We saw a lot of really good teams with really good pitchers. So that prepared us to get ready for the Big East pitchers that we would see. We are having a lot of success against [Big East teams] after seeing a lot of top twenty-five teams in the preseason.”

The ‘Cats will have a solo home game against St. Joseph’s this Wednesday before taking on Georgetown for a three-game set at home this weekend.

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