Stark Continues Offensive Roll, But Georgetown Loses Two at Maryland

GUHOYAS.COM Melissa Conners hasn't given up an earned run in her last 16 IP, including two starts and one relief appearance.
GUHOYAS.COM
Melissa Conners hasn't given up an earned run in her last 16 IP, including two starts and one relief appearance.
GUHOYAS.COM

April 6, 2011

Box Score

College Park, Md. - Jenna Stark (Huntington Beach, Calif./Orange Lutheran) continued the offensive tear that has made her one of the Hoyas' most feared hitters and Melissa Conners (Wellington, Fla./Wellington) made yet another impressive start, but the Georgetown University softball team dropped a pair of games to Maryland in College Park on Wednesday night.

The Hoyas lost game one, 10-0, in five innings and fell in a 1-0 nail biter in game two to move their record to 9-28 on the season.

Despite the results, freshman Jenna Stark continued her strong performance at the plate over the last 11 games. On Wednesday night, Stark was a combined 3-for-5 with three doubles, recording nearly half of her team's seven hits in the doubleheader, including the squad's only hit in game one. In Georgetown's last 11 contests, Stark has posted a .500 average (17-for-34) with five doubles, a triple, two home runs and eight RBI. In that span she has raised her average from .213 to its current .316, which is tied for the team lead.

Georgetown did not play poorly in the 10-0 loss, save for one difficult inning. In the bottom of the first, Maryland scored nine runs on eight hits, which would be more than enough for its hurler Ashley Czechner, who upped her record to 9-1 with the win. Most of the damage was done on a couple of extra base hits - a three-run home run by Lexi Carroll and a bases loaded triple by Candice Beards - that put the Terrapins well out in front.

Freshman Blair Sirockman (Flemington, N.J./The Hun School of Princeton) made her ninth appearance of the year in the loss, pitching two innings of scoreless relief, giving up only two hits while striking out two.

 

 

The Blue & Gray made game two much more interesting, consistently threatening to break the game open, but ultimately were unable to push a run across off Maryland's stingy pitching staff. The Terrapins took the lead in the first inning when Nikki Maier was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to put Georgetown in a 1-0 hole.

After Georgetown went down quietly in order in the top of the first inning the team would pressure Maryland the rest of the way, as the Terrapins would consistently bend, but not break, en route to the victory. The Hoyas put runners on base in every inning from the second through the seventh and managed four hits off Maryland starter Kendra Knight, and six in the entire game. In her previous outing, Knight only gave up one hit to the No. 24 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

After a Stark leadoff double in the second, GU would load the bases with one out, but were held scoreless. It was a similar story each inning thereafter. In the seventh, sophomore Shikara Lowe (Beaverton, Ore./Jesuit) singled with one out and advanced to third on another double by Stark that was close to clearing the left field wall. But again, Maryland stiffened in the field, recording a strikeout and groundout to end the game and complete the sweep. The Hoyas left 12 runners on base in the game two matchup.

In addition to Stark's two-hit effort in game two, Lowe was 2-for-4 and Georgetown also got hits from Alexandria Anttila (Antioch, Ill./Antioch Community) and Kristi Preuss (LaPlata, Md./LaPlata).

In the circle, senior Melissa Conners had another sterling pitching performance. She pitched six innings, striking out three without giving up an earned run. In her last two starts, Conners has pitched 13 innings without giving up an earned run, striking out seven and walking only one.

The Hoyas are back in action this weekend when they travel to South Florida to play a three-game set against the Bulls. First pitch in a Saturday doubleheader is set for 1 p.m. The rubber match on Sunday is scheduled for noon.

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