April 11, 2014
Georgetown at DePaul | noon CT | 1 p.m. ET | Live Stats | Video
WASHINGTON – The Georgetown softball team (19-15, 7-2 BIG EAST) travels to Chicago, Ill., for a BIG EAST weekend series against the DePaul Blue Demons (26-8, 7-0 BIG EAST). The two teams currently sit atop the BIG EAST standings for conference play. Saturday’s doubleheader starts at 1 p.m. ET (noon CT) while Sunday’s single game also starts at 1 p.m. ET.
The Hoyas won two midweek matchups this week at UMBC, 8-6, on Wednesday and at Drexel, 7-3, on Thursday.
Thursday’s win featured some career highs and careers firsts as sophomore Samantha Giovanniello (Floral Park, N.Y./Floral Park Memorial) led the way for the Hoyas at the plate with a career-high five RBI. Junior pitcher Megan Hyson (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake) broke her freshman mark of 13 strikeouts with 14 against Drexel while freshman Hannah Ramsey (Buda, Texas/Jack C. Hays) notched her first career hit in the sixth inning of the 7-3 victory.
Hyson brings a .406 batting average into the series along with a team-high five home runs and 24 RBI. The junior is reaching base in about half of her plate appearances with a .496 on-base percentage, which ranks first in the conference. Roughly 39 percent of her hits are going for extra bases. In the circle, Hyson (10-8) owns a 2.47 earned run average across 122.0 innings with 143 strikeouts. With 14 strikeouts against Drexel, Hyson reached a double-digit strikeout total for the fifth time in 2014. She struck out eight of the first nine batters she faced on Thursday en route to her career-high 14 on the day.
Fellow junior pitcher Lauren O'Leary (9-7, La Canada, Calif./La Canada) won her most recent start at UMBC and pitched in relief for the team during Thursday’s win. The junior has tossed 98.2 innings with only 23 walks while holding a 3.41 ERA.
In the past two games, Giovanniello has gone 3-for-6 with three runs, five RBI, two walks and two extra-base hits. The sophomore now has 19 RBI behind Hyson (24) and senior Hannah Slovacek (21, Austin, Texas/Westlake). Six Hoyas have at least 10 RBI through the team’s 34 games.
Senior Elyse Graziano (Floral Park, N.Y./Sacred Heart Academy) is one of two players on the squad with a batting average over .300. The senior has 33 hits on the season and a team-high 23 runs to go along with a conference-high 13 stolen bases. Graziano and Hyson have struck out six times each in their combined 248 plate appearances for a microscopic two percent strikeout rate between the two Hoyas.
The Blue & Gray are off to their best start in terms of overall record and conference play. The team is currently two wins shy of the program record 21, set in 2008 and reached again in 2013.
Last season at the BIG EAST Championship, the Hoyas and Blue Demons squared off during the quarterfinals with DePaul edging Georgetown, 1-0. Hyson threw six innings for the Hoyas and only gave up one run after a one-out triple set up a scoring opportunity in the third inning for DePaul. In the game, Georgetown faced Kristen Verdun. This season, Verdun owns a 1.85 ERA with a 18-5 record across 151.2 innings with a 183 strikeouts, sealing her place as one of the BIG EAST’s top pitchers.
DePaul has eight players batting above .300 with Mary Connolly leading the way with a .424 average, nine home runs and 30 RBI.
Georgetown has never won a game against the Blue Demons in seven attempts dating back to May 2010.
Live stats will be available for all three games. Live video will also be available (CBS subscription required).