Georgetown Scores 17 Runs on Senior Day, Splits a Pair with St. John's
April 17, 2011
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University softball team used an offensive barrage to subdue the visiting Red Storm of St. John's, 10-2, in five innings in the second game of a doubleheader on Sunday afternoon. The Hoyas let a late four-run lead slip away in game one, falling by an 8-7 score.
With the stands at Guy Mason Field packed full of friends and family to honor the team's three seniors, Melissa Conners (Wellington, Fla./Wellington), Kristi Preuss (LaPlata, Md./LaPlata) and Jillian Webb (Hemet, Calif./Hemet), as well as to recognize the return of a dozen program alumnae, the Hoyas' (11-33, 4-6 BE) offense did not disappoint. GU belted out 17 runs, its most in back-to-back games all season, on 19 hits and hit an impressive .352 as a unit to split the doubleheader and stay in the chase for a berth in the BIG EAST Softball Championships.
After falling in heartbreaking fashion in game one thanks to a five-run seventh-inning surge by St. John's (19-24 6-7 BE), Georgetown quickly dismissed any thoughts of a hangover in game two, taking out their frustration on a pair of Red Storm hurlers from the start.
The Hoyas put up a three spot in the bottom of the first inning when Jenna Stark (Huntington Beach, Calif./Orange Lutheran) started the scoring with runners on first and second and one out by singling through the left side to score Callie Eward (Oak Hill, Va./Oakton). Sophomore Shikara Lowe (Beaverton, Ore./Jesuit), who singled down the right field line before Stark, eventually crossed home on a throwing error by her counterpart behind the plate to put GU on top, 2-0. Junior Regan Page (Atlanta, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) capped the initial rally with a single to right center field that score Stark and gave the Hoyas' their second biggest lead of the afternoon.
Page had a career day, going 4-for-5 with one double, one run and four RBI after coming off the bench in the fourth inning of game one to rocket a two-strike RBI double to right field.
Georgetown rested on the 3-0 lead for a couple of innings before a St. John's run in the top of the fourth ignited yet another Hoya offensive firestorm. With Elyse Graziano (Floral Park, N.Y./Sacred Heart Academy) standing on second base and two out after the center fielder reached base on a one-out single, Lowe doubled to deep left center to score Graziano and was driven home herself on another double down the left field line by Stark to put GU up 5-1.
Another effort by the Red Storm to get back into the game in the top of the fifth proved to be for naught, as again, the Hoyas responded to a St. John's run with multiple of their own. Page singled to lead off the bottom of the fifth to force a pitching change, but the difference in the circle didn't matter. Rachel Nersesian (San Leandro, Calif./Bishop O'Dowd) beat out an infield single and then an error by the shortstop off the bat of Preuss loaded the bases.
Two quick outs seemed to halt Georgetown's momentum, but Nersesian raced home on a wild pitch to open the floodgates. Eward singled to score Preuss and then Lowe singled and advanced to second on the throw home to add two more. Stark would single up the middle to score Lowe and end the afternoon early, as the Hoyas went up by eight runs, 10-2, and ended the game on the mercy rule.
In addition to Page, Georgetown had a number of players put up gaudy offensive numbers in the doubleheader as Eward and Graziano both hit .333, Nersesian hit .500, Stark batted .375 with three RBI and Lowe batted .625 with five RBI.
Conners pitched all five innings to earn the win, her third of the season.
Despite the outcome, game one was a highly entertaining affair that was knotted at 3-3 heading into the bottom of the sixth and featured some spectacular defense in addition to the explosiveness in the batter's box. The left side of the Hoya infield flashed some leather in the fourth inning when third baseman Jordan Hansen (Omaha, Neb./Millard West) handled a magnificent unassisted double play with the bases loaded and Stark, the shortstop, made a diving grab in foul territory to end the frame.
The Hoyas scored four in the bottom of the sixth to take a 7-3 lead, but St. John's persevered and added five to its total in the seventh to seal the 8-7 win.
Georgetown will have a quick turnaround, playing its final non-conference game of the season against George Washington on Tuesday afternoon at 4 p.m. at Guy Mason Field.