March 23, 2014
Saturday, March 22
Georgetown at Villanova | W, 7-1
Georgetown at Villanova | W, 9-1 (5)
Sunday, March 23
Georgetown at Villanova | W, 5-3
WASHINGTON – The Georgetown softball team (12-12, 3-0 BIG EAST) completed the sweep of the Villanova Wildcats in an afternoon game on Sunday in Pennsylvania with a 5-3 victory to remain perfect in conference play after the first BIG EAST series of the year. The Hoyas are back to a .500 mark through 24 games in the season, which is a record for the Georgetown softball program.
“We swung the bats very well all the way through the order all weekend against some good pitching from Villanova,” said Georgetown Head Coach Pat Conlan.
The Hoyas grabbed an early lead in the first. Senior Elyse Graziano (Floral Park, N.Y./Sacred Heart Academy) continued her hot weekend, where she went 7-for-11 with five runs, three walks and two stolen bases, with a leadoff single and promptly stole second to put Georgetown in scoring position. Sophomore Grace Appelbe (Phoenix, Ariz./Xavier College Prep) groundout for the first out of the game, but she was able to move Graziano over to third on the out. Senior Hannah Slovacek (Austin, Texas/Westlake) singled Graziano in for the early 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
“Today was a gritty win. The girls were resilient despite getting behind in the first inning,” said Conlan.
Junior Megan Hyson (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake) got off to a bumpy start in the circle in the bottom of the first inning. Hyson got a quick first out, but then hit a batter and walked two more which let the Wildcats tie up the game 1-1. With two outs, Villanova singled in the second run to take the 2-1 lead marking the first time that Georgetown trailed all weekend.
Georgetown came back quickly in the next half inning to tie it back up 2-2, not letting Villanova have the lead for long. Slovacek, who went 2-for-4 on the afternoon, got her second RBI single in the inning to tie it up where the game remained until Villanova went up 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth.
The Hoyas countered to knot it up 3-3 with a run in the sixth. Freshman Gabriela Elvina (Edison, N.J./Bishop George Ahr) started off the sixth with a double on a 3-1 pitch for her first extra-base hit since Feb. 23 against Boston University. A single by Appelbe would bring Elvina in to score after Graziano moved Elvina over to third by reaching on an error.
Junior Lauren O'Leary (5-6, La Canada, Calif./La Canada) relieved Hyson in the circle for the final two innings. O’Leary shut out Villanova in the sixth right after Georgetown had just tied it up. The junior got her first batter to foul out and the next two to groundout for a 1-2-3 inning.
“I loved our energy, our confidence and how hard we played every pitch,” said Conlan.
The Blue & Gray tallied two more runs in the top of the seventh which turned out to be the deciding runs in the 5-3 win. With two outs and two batters on base via walks, Appelbe reached on an error to score Graziano and Delaney Osterday (Oconomowoc, Wis./Oconomowoc), who came in the game as a pinch runner, to take the 5-3 lead and the first Georgetown lead since the top of the first.
In two innings of work, O’Leary only allowed one hit, which came in the bottom of the seventh, but it did not amount to much for Villanova as Georgetown got the final two batters to popout and groundout to secure the three-game sweep.
“Sweeping Villanova was a great way to start our conference schedule,” said Conlan.
Georgetown is scheduled to play its home-opener on Tues., March 25 at Guy Mason Field when they host the Towson Tigers. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m.
- Georgetown has won half of its schedule through 24 games, which is the deepest into the season the Hoyas have maintained a .500 record in its ninth year of having softball.
- Georgetown outscored Villanova 21-5 in the three-game series.
- This was the second year in a row that Georgetown opened BIG EAST play with a three-game sweep. Last year, the Hoyas swept Villanova in Washington, D.C.
- Georgetown recorded 28 hits over the three games including six extra-base hits.
- Elyse Graziano raised her batting average 61 points from .219 to .280 with a solid weekend at the plate. The squad is 11-9 when Graziano hits from the leadoff spot.
- With two runs batted in today, Hannah Slovacek leads the team with five multi-RBI games on the season.
- With a single in the first inning, Megan Hyson extended her hitting streak to eight games.
- With a single in the sixth inning, Grace Appelbe has now reached base safely in her last 11 games which establishes a new career high every game it continues. Last season, the Hoyas had four players reach base in at least 11 games. Appelbe is the second Hoya to reach the feat in 2014 with Hyson reaching in 12 straight games earlier in the season.
- With seven walks on the day, Georgetown tied a team season-high. The Hoyas previously walked seven times each against Liberty (Feb. 28 in Charlotte, N.C) and Grand Canyon (March 7 in Northridge, Calif.).