Softball Readies for BIG EAST Weekend Opener at Villanova

March 21, 2014

Saturday, March 22
Georgetown at Villanova | noon | Live Stats | Video (Requires CBS All-Access Subscription)
Georgetown at Villanova | 2 p.m. | Live Stats | Video (Requires CBS All-Access Subscription)

Sunday, March 23
Georgetown at Villanova | noon | Live Stats

WASHINGTON – The Georgetown softball team (9-12, 0-0 BIG EAST) opens BIG EAST play this weekend when they travel to take on the Villanova Wildcats (8-12, 0-0 BIG EAST) in Pennsylvania for a three-game series. The Hoyas play a doubleheader against the Wildcats tomorrow, Sat., March 22 with the first game starting at noon followed by a single game on Sun., March 23 at noon.

The Hoyas were only able two play two games at the Hofstra Invitational last weekend when five were originally scheduled. Georgetown won two shutouts at the Invite over Fairfield, 3-0, and Columbia, 4-0.

Georgetown junior Megan Hyson (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake) was named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll for the third time this season for her play in the tournament where she went 3-for-6 at the plate with two doubles and a solo home run in addition to throwing a complete game, seven-inning affair with 12 strikeouts over Columbia, one strikeout short of her career high.



Hyson comes into the three-game series among the conference leaders in major offensive statistics. The junior ranks fourth in batting average (.387), third in on-base percentage (.479) and fourth in slugging percentage (.629). Her seven doubles currently lead the BIG EAST.

In the circle, Hyson ranks fourth in earned run average (1.86), third in opposing batting average (.187) and fifth in innings pitched (75.1) among all BIG EAST pitchers. She has also struck out 28 batters looking, good for third in the conference.

With 20 starts in right field, senior Alexandria Anttila (Antioch, Ill./Antioch Community) ranks second on Georgetown with her .288 batting average, .413 on-base percentage and .481 slugging percentage.

Three Hoyas are tied for second on the team with exactly 15 hits on the season; Anttila, sophomore Samantha Giovanniello (Floral Park, N.Y./Floral Park Memorial) and senior Hannah Slovacek (Austin, Texas/Westlake).

Sophomore Grace Appelbe (Phoenix, Ariz./Xavier College Prep), Anttila, and Hyson have all drew 10 walks on the season, which contribute to them each having a .390 on-base percentage or better.

Appelbe is tied for the conference lead with four sacrifice bunts. Appelbe is currently averaging 0.31 sacrifice hits per game which ranks 25th nationally for all Division I softball players. The sophomore has also reached base safely in her past eight games.

Senior centerfielder Elyse Graziano (Floral Park, N.Y./Sacred Heart Academy) seven stolen bases are good for second in the conference. She only trails the leader by two. The senior has 14 hits on the season, including one of the team’s only two triples. With good plate discipline, Graziano has walked nine times.

Freshman catcher Gabriela Elvina (Edison, N.J./Bishop George Ahr) has caught six runners stealing, which is tied for third in the BIG EAST.

Giovanniello, who has split her time at second, shortstop and left field, has four multi-base hits on the season.

Junior starting pitcher Lauren O'Leary ’s (La Canada, Calif./La Canada) eleven walks on the season are the fifth-least among BIG EAST pitchers. She owns a 3.48 earned run average across 54.1 innings on the season.

The Villanova Wildcats are 8-12 on the season and are coming off a 4-2 win over Delaware last Sunday in the school’s final tournament game of the season. Five players for the Wildcats have a double-digit hit totals on the season with freshman Chase Snell leading the squad with 16 hits and a .262 batting average.

Villanova’s Kate Poppe, a sophomore, is leading the way for the Wildcats in the circle. As one of the top pitchers in the BIG EAST this season, she leads the conference in earned run average (1.34) and opposition batting average (.156). Poppe ranks third in the BIG EAST in innings pitched (83.2) and strikeouts (105); one of only three pitchers with triple-digit strikeouts in the conference. Among national leaders, Poppe is only surrendering 3.76 hits per seven innings, which ranks 21st among all Division I pitchers.

Georgetown, who also opened BIG EAST play against Villanova last year, swept the three-game series in 2013 from the Wildcats in Washington, D.C. The Hoyas hold a 6-4 overall record against the Wildcats since the teams first met in 2009. This will be the third three-game series between the two Jesuit schools.

Live Stats will be available for all three-games and video can be found on Villanova’s site for the doubleheader on Saturday.

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