Morris’ walk-off home run extends softball’s win streak to ten



Larry Flynn

Going. Going. Gone.

As soon as the ball hit the bat of sophomore infielder Dana Morris, everyone in the park could tell it was headed over the fences.

On her fourth and final at-bat of the game, Morris crushed a home run just inside the left field field foul pole. 

Morris’ game-winner was a solo home run, her sixth of the season and her only hit of the game.

Thus concluded the final inning of Villanova’s dramatic 2-1 win over Seton Hall in extra innings on Monday afternoon.

The entire game, a two-and-a-half hour battle, was a war between two highly-skilled pitchers. 

For the Wildcats, strikeout ace Kate Poppe pitched all nine innings, securing the win and improving her record to 13-9 on the season.

Poppe gave up just one run on eight hits in Villanova’s win.

Poppe also hit the 900 strike-out mark earlier this season, setting the highest mark in school history. 

She added to her total with eight on Monday, and is climbing toward the 1,000 strikeout milestone. With just under 20 games remaining, this incredible feat is in reach for one of the greatest pitchers in Villanova softball history.

Just the day before, Poppe had pitched 10 innings at Seton Hall. Fighting off fatigue, Poppe grinded out the win.

“Poppe always throws a good game,” Morris said. “We know they weren’t going to hit her as hard as they hit a typical pitcher.”

Poppe’s confidence at the mound allowed her hitters to feel comfortable on a day when the ball and bat just weren’t connecting.

“We knew if we kept fighting, we were going to put runs on the board,” Morris said.

In addition to Poppe’s consistent success this season, this softball team has been known for its affinity for the long-ball. The team spent extra time in the weight room this offseason, and the hard work has paid off in the form of 17 home runs thus far this season.

Senior outfielder Shea Palmer was the first batter to break the ice for Villanova. Her sacrafice fly in the bottom of the sixth inning scored sophomore outfielder Tianah Hathaway.

Monday’s win over Seton Hall extended the team’s win-streak to ten games, the longest in program history since 1999. Over the course of the win-streak, the Wildcats have defeated Big East foes St. John’s and Seton Hall three times apiece. 

Villanova now prepares for a double-header Thursday afternoon at home against Lafayette before travelling west to take on the Creighton Bluejays over the weekend. 

Thursday’s double-header against Lafayette are at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. 

Both previously scheduled matchups against LaSalle on Tuesday were cancelled due to rainy conditions.

As the softball program continues to evolve and build a special, team-oriented culture, they are also improving their talent. And it’s paying off in the win column. With a prolific senior class and some talented sophomores, Villanova softball continues to be trending upward.