Softball Travels to Orlando for UCF Tournament, Goes 3-2


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Softball Travels to Orlando for UCF Tournament, Goes 3-2

Emma Houghton

Over the weekend, the Wildcats competed in the UCF Tournament in Orlando, Fla. They played five games, finishing 3-2 on the weekend, bringing their overall record to 6-4.

Friday Action:

Villanova: 3 Penn State: 2

Villanova 3: Iowa State: 4

Paige Rauch continued her offensive onslaught in the first game of the tournament on Friday, hitting a home run in the first inning to help the ‘Cats defeat Penn State, 3-2.

A single from Chloe Smith scored Angela Giampolo in the third inning, extending Nova’s lead to 2-0. In the bottom half of the third inning, Penn State hit back-to-back homers to tie the game at two. 

An RBI single from Megan Kern in the fifth inning scored Giampolo, giving the ‘Cats their final lead of the game, 3-2. 

Paige Rauch earned her fourth win of the season, throwing a complete game of two runs and 11 strikeouts. 

Later on Friday, Iowa State got on pitcher Sara Kennedy early, forcing her out of the game in the third inning after scoring three early runs (2 ER). 

Despite gaining a lead in the first inning after Giampolo scored on a wild pitch, Iowa capitalized on walks and errors to create a 3-1 lead in the second inning. 

Giampolo homered in the fifth inning to bring the team back within one run, but Iowa State scored another run in the top of the seventh, extending the lead to 4-2. In the bottom of the seventh, Rauch scored on a double from Kern. Down 4-3 with runners on, Ryan Henry struck out to end the game.

Gabby Wenn, who relieved Kennedy, allowed one run in five innings, despite walking five batters. Kennedy earned her second loss of the season. 

Saturday Action:

Villanova: 5 

Florida Atlantic University: 0

Villanova: 3 University of Central Florida: 7

Looking for a win, the ‘Cats relied on Rauch once again, who came through with a home run and a no-hitter to lead the team past Florida Atlantic, 5-0.

Home runs from Rauch and Smith gave ‘Nova a 2-0 lead in the third inning. A passed ball and a throwing error led to two more ‘Nova runs, and a home run from Julia DaCosta extended the team’s lead to 5-0 by the end of the sixth inning.

Rauch became the 10th player in Villanova history to throw a no-hitter, pitching a full seven innings with 13 strikeouts. She earned her fifth win of the season.

This dominance did not carry over into the UCF game, as the Knights scored five runs off of Anissa Amarillas in the first inning.

Becky Ducar hit her first home run of the season in the fifth inning, finally putting the ‘Cats on the board, 6-1. In the sixth inning, a double from Sarah Hangsleben scored Dani Dabroski and Sydney Hayes, cutting the lead to 7-3. 

With one out and two on in the seventh inning, DaCosta had the chance to extend the game for the Wildcats. However, the Knights completed a double play, ending Villanova’s momentum and coming away with a 7-3 victory.

Sunday Action:

Villanova: 9 Penn State: 3

On the final day of the UCF Tournament, tied at 2-2, Villanova brought the offensive power in order to leave Florida with a winning record.

Chloe Smith hit a home run in the first inning, giving the ‘Cats an early 1-0 lead. Smith finished the game 3-3 from the plate, with one run, one home run, and one RBI.

The next inning, Rauch hit a three-run home run over the center field wall to extend the lead to four. In the fourth inning, she added a RBI single, scoring Giampolo. Rauch finished the weekend 8-16, with five runs, two doubles, three home runs and six RBIs. 

After the Nittany Lions scored two runs in the sixth inning, Villanova answered with four straight runs in the bottom half of the inning. DaCosta hit her third home run of the season, a two-run home run that extended the lead to 8-2.

Gabby Wenn got the start for the ‘Cats. She earned her first win of the season after pitching six innings of one run ball.

Next weekend, the Wildcats travel to Kissimmee, Florida for five games in the Disney Citrus Classic.