Softball | Hoyas Brace for Top Conference Rivals

After dropping two games out of its three-game series against St. John’s (16-13, 2-1 Big East) last weekend, the Georgetown softball team (6-21, 1-2 Big East) remains confident as it heads into a second weekend of conference play against DePaul (11-20, 3-0 Big East).

Reflecting back on their games against the Red Storm — ranked No. 1 in preseason polls — the Hoyas realized they have what it takes to compete with, and ultimately beat, the powerhouse teams they will face this season.

“During the first game, we had a realization that we were better than this team. In the first few innings we were outhitting them and outscoring them,” senior third baseman Taylor Henry said. “Our pitchers got tired, but we knew in that second game that we were the better team. Our mentality stayed the same, we were just able to execute better. We knew we could beat them.”

Head Coach Pat Conlan agreed, stating that it was her players’ belief in each other, and in themselves, that helped them come away with a win during the second game.

“The kids believed. They realized that our backs were against the wall with the 16 walks that we gave up, which is almost unheard of in our game, and it was still a fairly competitive game despite all that,” Conlan said. “If we can cut down on those and continue to play as hard as we are and swing to good bats, then good things are going to happen.”

As Georgetown travels to face DePaul this weekend in Chicago, the team will focus on making pitching improvements in order to maintain its competitive edge and reduce its opponents’ on-base percentage, especially against a formidable DePaul team.

“I think we need to cut down on our walks,” Conlan said. “DePaul, year after year, is at the top of the conference, and it’s going to be a tough weekend, but I think if we bring our A game and play at the level that we’re capable of playing, that it should be very competitive, and I’m looking forward to that.”

In terms of preparation for this weekend’s series, Conlan said she is concerned with keeping a constant, positive mentality and working hard to get better every day. And rather than relying on individual talent, the Hoyas are looking to depend on their entire roster to carry them through.

“We need everybody to step up. We’re only 12 [players] deep and 12 strong right now, so we need everybody to bring their A game,” Conlan said.

However, the team’s veterans will still need to lead the team. Henry, for example, aims to set the best example she can for her teammates, particularly during the tough conference schedule.

“I’m just trying to do what I can to help the team win, to be a leader and to set the tone before each game,” Henry said. “The younger girls follow me, [senior infielder] Grace [Appelbe] and [senior pitcher] Sam [Giovanniello] and the tone that we set, so it’s really important to be pumped up and positive and to know that even though our preseason wasn’t the best, we can beat any team in the conference.”

Henry said she and the team were eager to compete against Big East’s best.

“We’re just really excited,” Henry said. “We’re playing the top two teams in the conference during the first two weekends, and being able to take wins from them is going to be huge for the rest of our season. If we get out on a high and can get wins, we know we can beat anybody in the conference, so it’s pretty exciting.”

Georgetown’s first game against DePaul will take place tomorrow at 12 p.m. in Chicago, Ill. The second and final game will take place on Sunday at 11 a.m., also in Chicago.

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