When the Georgetown softball team (13-24, 3-7 Big East) took the field this weekend, it played against a DePaul team (15-18, 7-1 Big East) that had beaten Georgetown in each of the last 10 meetings between the two sides.
DePaul continued its winning ways in the first matchup of the three-game series, defeating Georgetown 2-0. But in Saturday’s second contest, Georgetown emerged victorious, winning 5-4 in two extra innings.
“[Saturday’s game] was our first win over DePaul in 11 games,” senior pitcher Megan Hyson said. “Our energy level was really high that entire game and we definitely needed that [win].”
Saturday’s split result meant that Sunday’s matchup decided the series. Unfortunately for Georgetown, DePaul put together a solid pitching effort and an explosive offensive performance. The Hoyas fell to the Blue Demons in a 14-1 rout and dropped the series 2-1.
Georgetown trailed from the outset of Saturday’s first contest. DePaul’s junior second baseman Morgan Maize hit a home run on the first pitch of the game, which put the Blue Demons up 1-0. After giving up the home run, Hyson got the Hoyas out of the inning unscathed.
Hyson held the Blue Demons to their one-run advantage through the sixth inning. However, in the seventh, DePaul’s senior pitcher Mary Connolly took Hyson deep, extending her team’s lead to two runs.
Connolly retired the first three Hoyas she faced in the top of the seventh, clinching the victory 2-0 for the Blue Demons.
“[Connolly] is a good pitcher,” Hyson said. “She was the keeping the ball down, and it’s hard to get to her when she is hitting her spots.”
In Saturday’s second contest, it was the Hoyas’ turn to establish an early lead. The top of the second inning saw Georgetown putting two runs on the board. Hyson scored on a fielding error, and a sacrifice fly by junior third baseman Taylor Henry drove in a run to put the Hoyas up 2-0.
Georgetown added another run in the third on an RBI double from junior shortstop Grace Appelbe. The Hoyas struck again in the fourth. Henry’s double to left center gave her a second RBI and established a four-run advantage for the Hoyas.
Freshman pitcher Avery Geehr was able to hold DePaul scoreless through five innings, but the Blue Demons’ bats started to heat up in the sixth. Geehr allowed three runs and was replaced by Hyson, who allowed one run before getting the Hoyas out of the inning.
With the score tied 4-4 at the end of the seventh, the game was forced into extra innings. Hyson’s scoreless pitching through two innings gave Georgetown the chance to rally in the top of the ninth.
“Megan had a fantastic day,” Head Coach Pat Conlan said. “She did a nice job of holding a very good offensive team down, and she did a great job of shutting the bats down in those extra innings.”
Sophomore catcher Gabriela Elvina singled up the middle to start the top of the ninth. She then advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Elvina took third base on a wild pitch, and a second wild pitch two batters later allowed her to score, giving the Hoyas a 5-4 victory.
“I think we did a good job with our toughness,” Conlan said. “[We] got ourselves grounded and fought those last couple of innings. I was happy we pulled one out this weekend.”
Unlike the two close contests that had preceded it, Sunday’s game ended in a convincing 14-1 victory for the Blue Demons. Three pitchers spent time on the mound for Georgetown, and each struggled to handle DePaul’s overwhelming offense, which tallied three home runs, including a grand slam.
While Georgetown’s pitchers struggled Sunday, DePaul’s Connolly remained a force on the mound, allowing only one run on four hits. Connolly pitched a total of 15.2 innings during the series and allowed only two runs. Her sustained dominance on the mound certainly contributed to Georgetown’s offensive troubles.
“We need to be better in every single part of our game,” Conlan said. “We need to do the little things that win ball games, and we are just not doing those things right now.”
The Hoyas will have opportunities to improve over the course of the 10 games remaining in the regular season.
“We have three more series left against teams that we know that we can beat,” Elvina said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we won all those series. I really think that we can.”
Georgetown’s next stop is Indianapolis for a three-game series with conference rival Butler (16-22, 4-8 Big East) that is set to begin April 18.
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