The Student News Site of Villanova University

The Villanovan

The Villanovan

The Villanovan

Softball Clinches Big East Regular Season Title

Courtesy of Villanova Athletics
Villanova softball clinched the Big East regular season title this past weekend, going 2–1 over UConn.

Villanova softball captured the Big East regular season title this past weekend, taking two games out of three from UConn on the road. The ‘Cats bookended the series with wins of 3-1 and 4-2, and a tough, 5-4 loss in between. 

Friday’s series opener began with UConn breaking the scoreless tie in the bottom of the second on a steal of home. 

Villanova went in front in the top of the fourth inning when redshirt junior first baseman Brooklyn Ostrowski’s two-run single scored junior shortstop Ava Franz and junior right fielder Elaina Wagner.

The ‘Cats added an insurance run in the top of the fifth when senior left fielder Tess Cites crushed a solo home run to left field.

Villanova senior pitcher Caroline Pellicano entered a two-run game in the bottom of the seventh, aiming to close the game. Pellicano sat the Huskies down for her seventh career save, tying the Villanova record.

‘Cats senior pitcher Alyssa Seidler recorded the win with a gem of a performance, tossing six innings of one-run ball with two hits, four walks and 10 strikeouts. 

“[Seidler] was on fire, she had tons of strikeouts, which was awesome,” head coach Bridget Orchard said.  “Her ball was moving a lot. She has really good command of her pitches. She had [10] strikeouts, which is big, and [she got] a lot of swings and misses, and she was keeping them off balance. She was throwing her rise ball and she definitely was keeping them off and getting a lot of swings and misses.”

In game two on Saturday, UConn got off to a fast start, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first on a two-run home run. The Huskies scored again in the bottom of the third on a three-run home run.

Villanova attempted to mount a comeback in the fifth inning, adding four runs to cut the deficit to one. Wagner’s single scored junior Kelsey White, who had reached base on a pinch-hit walk. Graduate catcher Ally Jones added another run when her single brought home Cites. Sophomore second baseman Lilly St. Jean capped the inning with a two-run double that scored Jones and Wagner.

However, Villanova’s comeback bid fell short, as no Wildcat reached base for the rest of the game.

Sophomore pitcher Kat Gallant took the loss for Villanova, allowing five runs on seven hits over four innings pitched. She did not walk a batter and struck out two. 

In the series finale on Sunday, UConn scored the first run of the game for either team with a solo blast in the bottom of the second. 

The Wildcats quickly tied the game in the top of the third on White’s solo home run and then took the lead in the fourth when White hit an RBI single that scored St. Jean.

“[White] came up huge for sure,” Orchard said. “She started the game as a pitcher and gave up a home run and she got to redeem herself and hit a home run. So it’s pretty cool when you help yourself like that as a pitcher and a hitter. She played outfield, she pitched, and she hit so she pretty much did it all for us in [this] game against a powerful team like UConn.”

The Huskies re-tied the game in the bottom of the fourth on a sacrifice fly.

In the top of the sixth, Villanova took the lead back on an RBI single from Wagner that brought in White.

The ‘Cats added an insurance run in the top of the seventh on an RBI single from graduate DP Chloe Smith that scored redshirt sophomore pinch runner Alexa Raphael.

UConn brought the tying run to the plate twice in the bottom of the seventh after a leadoff single but failed to score. Pellicano induced a flyout and a double play to end the game and clinch the Big East regular season title for the Wildcats.

Pellicano recorded the win, coming out of the bullpen to pitch the final three innings. She did not allow a run and did not walk a batter, scattering two hits and recording one strikeout.

With the Big East regular season title in hand, the Wildcats will host Butler for a final regular season tune-up this weekend ahead of the Big East championship.

“[The team] want[s] to just continue to keep getting better and work hard,” Orchard said. “This weekend is kind of tough because you’re playing your last home games and usually you’re playing for something [at this time of the year] but at this point, they don’t mean anything. I think we are playing for momentum and also for our seniors, who get to play in front of our home fans for the final time.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Villanovan
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of The Villanovan with technological needs, training, etc!

More to Discover
Donate to The Villanovan
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Villanovan Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *