Delaware Softball Opens Home Schedule By Falling To Villanova, 4-2 and 4-3
March 29, 2011
Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
• Game 1 Boxscore
• Game 2 Boxscore
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NEWARK, Del. -- Villanova used a three-run sixth inning during the opener and a three-run second inning during the nightcap to sweep a doubleheader from Delaware, 4-2 and 4-3, in the Blue Hens’ home opener Tuesday afternoon at the Delaware Softball Stadium.
The Wildcats, who improved to 11-16 on the season, trailed by a run in the opener before rallying in the top of the sixth. Amanda Marquez led off with a single up the middle, and after Kristin Burlin legged out a bunt single, Valerie Ortega laid down a bunt but UD catcher Gina Knutson’s throw to third was wide, loading the bases with nobody out.
Molly Manning would take advantage by drilling a two-run double to left field, driving home Marquez and Burlin to put Villanova on top. Christina Botkins then grounded out to first base but Ortega scored on the play to add an insurance run.
Delaware, which dropped to 9-20 on the year, rallied in the bottom of the seventh as walks to Michelle Grap and Brittney Noons put the tying runs on base with one out. However Manning, who went the distance for Villanova, struck out Bertie Lake and got Jenny Richards to fly out to left to end the game.
The Blue Hens had struck first during the bottom of the second when Knutson led off with a single to right center and eventually scored when Noons reached on an error by Burlin at third base. However the Wildcats answered right back in the top of the third, as Brittany Ewing led off the frame by lacing a triple to the fence in right field. Blue Hen pitcher Amanda Stacevicz (at right) then retired Jamie O’Hara on a lineout to third, but Ewing crossed the plate when Richards made a sliding catch of a foul fly ball hit by Ali Lowe.
Delaware went back on top in the fourth when Stacevicz led off with a single up the middle and Rachel Jones drilled a one-out RBI triple to right, but Villanova took control with its three-run sixth inning.
Manning, who allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits with six strikeouts, improved to 5-4 for the Wildcats. Stacevicz dropped to 5-7 after she gave up four runs, three earned, on eight hits while fanning four batters and not walking any.
Villanova then wasted little time in taking the lead during the nightcap as O’Hara led off with an infield single, went to third on a double down the right field line by Lowe, and scored on a single to right by Ortega. UD starting pitcher Kathleen Conway retired the next three batters to avoid further damage, but she again ran into trouble in the second.
With one out Ewing walked, and following a pop out on a bunt attempt by Tessa Braga, O’Hara singled and Lowe was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Ortega then drilled a double into right center, chasing home all three Wildcat runners to put Villanova on top, 4-0.
Delaware used some help from the Wildcats to get on the board in the bottom of the frame, as after Stacevicz and Rachel Jones each reached on Villanova errors, Noons beat out a bunt single to load the bases. Grap then grounded out to second to plate Stacevicz, before Wildcats pitcher Caitlyn Delahaba retired the next two batters to maintain the three-run cushion.
The Blue Hens would rally again in the third, when Richards (at left) singled to shortstop and Michelle McKinnon legged out a bunt single to put two runners on base with nobody out. Lara Andrews then laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners into scoring position, before Stacevicz lined a two-run double to left center to make it a 4-3 game.
However Delahaba would settle down from there, allowing only a walk to McKinnon in the fifth and a single to Stacevicz in the sixth, as she fired four consecutive scoreless innings to hold off Delaware. Delahaba improved to 5-11 after allowing three runs, two earned, on five hits and striking out eight batters on the afternoon. Conway, who gave up four earned runs on 10 hits, fell to 2-6 on the campaign.
Stacevicz finished 2 for 3 with two RBI and a run scored during the nightcap, while Richards and McKinnon each added a hit and scored a run.
The Blue Hens are back at home on Wednesday when they host Delaware State in another twinbill beginning at 2:30 p.m.Back To Softball Home Softball Story Archive