Villanova Escapes With Pair of Extra-Inning Wins
April 25, 2013
EASTON, Pa. - Extra innings proved to be extra tough for the Lafayette softball team on Thursday, as Villanova grinded out a 2-0 win in 10 innings and a 4-3 decision in nine innings at Metzgar Fields.
The Leopards (11-37) had no answer for Villanova starter Kate Poppe in game one. Poppe struck out 20 while throwing a 10-inning no-hitter. Lafayette managed two baserunners. Madeline Allen took a pitch off the elbow with two outs in the third. In the sixth, Lafayette had its best scoring chance. Brittany Paul laid down a bunt that was misplayed at third base, allowing Paul to reach. She advanced to second when Poppe uncorked a wild offering, but the Leopards could not get her any closer to home.
Villanova nearly ended things in the ninth, but the Wildcats left the bases loaded to send the game, scheduled for seven innings, to the 10th. In the 10th, lead-off hitter Shea Palmer got aboard with a bunt single. Ali Lowe bunted her to second for the second out of the inning. Valerie Ortega broke the scoreless tie with a double to leftfield. Then the Wildcats added another run on an infield error for the 2-0 final.
Bryn Gornick had her best outing of the season in the circle, surrendering two runs (one earned) on nine hits with a walk.
The second game was only scoreless through two batters. Lowe reached on an error with one out. She stole second and came home on Ortega's double. A second error resulted in another Villanova run.
Lafayette's first run of the afternoon came in the fifth inning. Three straight singles by Kristen Berger, Ailish Hogan and Stephanie Schreiber loaded the bases with one out in the inning. All three runners moved up a base on a wild pitch for Lafayette's first run of the game. Villanova got out of the inning when Amy Gebhardt grounded to third where the fielder tagged out Hogan and then retired Gebhardt with the 5-3 doubleplay.
The Leopards tied the game at 3-3 in the seventh inning, forcing the second extra-inning game of the afternoon. Villanova went to Ali Angelbello to close out the game in a save situation. Angelbello retired the first two batters of the inning. Berger (3-for-4) kept the game going with double and later scored on Ailish Hogan's RBI-double. Schreiber reached on an error, leaving runners on the corners. Gebhardt came through with the game-tying single. Kaity Sitzman, Villanova's starting pitcher, re-entered the game and got the final out of the inning to send it to extras.
The game went into the ninth. Julie Smith singled to rightfield to lead off the frame against Melissa Robinson. A sac placed Smith at second. Kera Pezzuti, who then pinch ran for Smith, stole third and the throw was misplayed allowing Pezzuti to score the go-ahead run.
The Leopards were retired in order in the bottom half to end the game. Robinson took the loss, allowing four runs (just one earned) on seven hits with six strikeouts in nine innings. Sitzman collected the win, throwing 8.2 innings when she allowed one run with four strikeouts.
The Leopards close out Patriot League regular-season play on Saturday and Sunday, hosting a four-game series versus Army. Lafayette seniors Jordan Parsons and Madeline Allen will be honored prior to the first game on Sunday.
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