There was much anticipation for the softball battle between two bulldog schools going into this weekend, but the matchup proved to be extremely one-sided as Butler (21-22, 7-8 Big East) swept Georgetown (13-27, 3-10 Big East), in Indianapolis in a series that included two run-shortened games.
Butler came out swinging in the opening contest of the three-game series. The Bulldogs got on the board early with a solo home run in the first inning. Georgetown third baseman Taylor Henry got on base in the second, but her single would be the only hit of the game for the Blue and Gray.
Butler extended its lead to four runs after four innings pitched by Georgetown’s senior right-hander Megan Hyson, who ultimately took the loss. In the fifth inning, pitched by senior right-hander Lauren O’Leary, the Bulldogs scored four runs. A triple by junior first baseman Alex Kotter, who had four hits and four RBIs, drove in Butler’s final two runs to end the game after five innings. Butler finished with 11 hits and an 8-0 victory.
The Hoyas committed three errors in the game, two of which led to unearned runs in the decisive fifth inning.
“I thought their pitchers did a nice job, but we just didn’t have very good at bats,” Head Coach Pat Conlan said. “We’re not aggressive and we can’t expect to win any ballgames if we only get a couple hits on the day.”
What made the day worse for Georgetown was the second game, which played out almost exactly like the first.
Butler again jumped ahead, scoring two runs in both the first and second innings off freshman pitcher Avery Geehr to go up 4-0.
Georgetown sophomore catcher Gabriela Elvina hit a double in the third inning, but no one could bring her around. Henry recorded the only other hit of the game.
By the fourth inning Butler was up 8-0. The game ended in the top of the fifth when the Hoyas hit into a double play. For the second game in a row, Butler notched 11 hits.
“We played very poorly,” Conlan said. “I’m not going to take anything away from Butler because they put the ball in play and got hits when they needed them and had a good pitching effort, with good defense. They played the way you’re supposed to play. And we’re not. I think the scores are indicative of where we are right now.”
On Sunday the Hoyas looked to avoid the sweep, and it seemed that their momentum might have shifted when Elvina hit a solo home run to establish a 1-0 lead in the third. But in the bottom of the inning, Butler scored to even things out and was then able to string together some hits in the fourth to take a 3-1 lead. They would score one more run in the fifth, but it would prove to be superfluous.
“We made a lot of mistakes today that don’t go down in the book as errors,” Conlan said. “We had a couple of big base running mistakes, we made a huge defensive mistake that started them getting on the scoreboard … the score looked a little bit closer, but the result was the same. And our performance was the same.”
Georgetown, selected in the preseason poll to finish third in the Big East, is currently in last place, and barring extraordinary circumstances in the final few weeks of conference play is likely out of contention for the Big East tournament. For Conlan, the bulk of the Hoyas’ problems stem from their mentality.
“It’s absolutely mental. There is zero mental toughness,” Conlan said. “And as a result, we’re not going to win many games. The physical part will come eventually, but we’re getting beat in an area that we can control.”
The losses seem to be a disturbing trend for the Hoyas, who are currently enduring a four-game losing streak and have lost 12 of their last 13 games. In that period, they have been shut out five times.
“Unfortunately right now our performance is not an unusual thing, it’s who we’ve become, and we have to start focusing on the future and how that’s going to look for us,” Conlan said. “So we’ve got two weeks left and we’ll do our best to put our best group out there and do our best to win some ballgames.”
Georgetown will face D.C. rival George Washington University (21-20, 4-11 Atlantic 10) on Tuesday at the GW Softball Field. The first pitch is set for 3 p.m.
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