Feb. 6, 2014
TBD, TBD vs. Georgetown
WASHINGTON – The Georgetown softball team opens their 56 game schedule this weekend as they travel down to Ft. Myers, Fla to play five games at the Florida Gulf Cost University/Four Points By Sheraton Invitational from Fri., Feb. 7 to Sun., Feb. 9. The Hoyas open the Invitational by playing Liberty on Friday at 12:15 p.m. followed by the host, Florida Gulf Coast, later on in the evening at 7 p.m.
The Blue & Gray will then play back-to-back games on Saturday at 10 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. against Ole Miss and Western Kentucky, respectively.
The team travels south for some warmer weather with the anticipation of their first game since their 1-0 loss to DePaul at the BIG EAST Tournament last spring. Coming into 2014, Georgetown brings along 12 returners and four incoming freshmen. Current sophomore Samantha Giovanniello (Floral Park, N.Y./Floral Park Memorial), sophomore Taylor Henry (Front Royal, Va./Skyline), junior Megan Hyson (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake), junior Sophia Gargicevich-Almeida (Riverside, Calif./Martin Luther King), senior Alexandria Anttila (Antioch, Ill./Antioch Community), senior Madeleine Giaquinto (Falls Church, Va./Bishop O'Connell), senior Elyse Graziano (Floral Park, N.Y./Sacred Heart Academy) and senior Hannah Slovacek (Austin, Texas/Westlake) all started at least 42 games in 2013. Graziano and Giovanniello started all 54 games for the Hoyas in their 21-33 season.
Junior right-handed starting pitcher Lauren O’Leary (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) made 35 starts for Georgetown while Hyson made 19 starts as the No. 2 pitcher.
Georgetown has a lifetime record of 1-3 against Liberty, 0-3 against FGCU and 0-1 against Ole Miss. The Hoyas will be facing Western Kentucky for the first time in the program’s nine year history.
In its previous eight season openers, Georgetown only has a 2-6 mark. Half of their season openers were played in Florida including the FGCU Invitational back in 2011, which was the inaugural year of the FGCU Softball Complex in Ft. Myers, Fla.
The Liberty Lady Flames went 20-37 last season and open 2014 with new head coach Dot Richardson. With a 1-3 record against Liberty, the Hoyas look to get a jump on their 2014 season with a win on Friday afternoon. The last matchup between the two teams was at a tournament in Elon, N.C. in Feb. 2012. Georgetown opened their 2012 season against Liberty with a 9-2 victory and played them the next day but lost, 7-2. The 9-2 win against Liberty was the last time Georgetown opened a season with a win.
Florida Gulf Coast
The Blue & Gray last faced FGCU at the FGCU Invitational in March of 2012. The Hoyas lost their only matchup to the Eagles, 4-0, and have never won a game in their three total meetings. The Eagles, who play in the Atlantic Sun Conference, went 36-18 last season. FGCU returns six starting position players from the previous year including junior Kelsey Carpenter, who batted .380, and senior Chelsea Zgrabik, who batted .329. The Eagles’ top-two hitters hit a combined 26 home runs and both had a slugging percentage above .675.
The Hoyas are playing Ole Miss of the Southeastern Conference for the first time. The Rebels return eight starts and four of their five pitchers after their 25-31 2013 season under third year head coach Windy Thees. The Rebels return four of five players who hit at least .300 last season including sophomore Madi Osias (.364) and Allison Brown (.354); both of whom also had six home runs and a slugging percentage above .600. The Hoyas have only played Mississippi once before in 2008, but lost 4-3.
The Hilltoppers, who the Hoyas have also never faced, come into the season with first year WKU head coach Amy Tudor. Western Kentucky went 43-18 last year with a 20-3 mark in the Sun Belt Conference. The Hillstoppers return their top offensive threat, senior Olivia Watkins, who hit .378 last season with 73 hits, 49 runs and 38 stolen bases. Junior Preslie Cruce and senior Amanda Thomas both hit 14 home runs for WKU and Thomas tallied a team-best 51 RBI. Western Kentucky is the only team that the Hoyas are facing this weekend that are currently receiving votes for the USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 2014 Preseason Poll.
Yesterday, the Hoyas were selected to finish tied for third in the new-look BIG EAST Conference.
Last season, the Blue & Gray reached 21 wins for the second time in program history.
All games will be played at the FGCU Softball Complex. The complex sits a capacity of 361. The dimensions are 200 ft. to left field, 220 ft. to center field and 200 ft. to right field.