FILE PHOTO: Erin Napier/THE HOYA Senior middle infielder and pitcher Samantha Giovanniello has pitched 16 complete games this season and earned seven wins.
Senior middle infielder and pitcher Samantha Giovanniello has pitched 16 complete games this season and earned seven wins.

Despite having struggled during Big East play this season, the Georgetown softball team (9-32, 3-11 Big East) will have an opportunity to end its season on a high note as it travels to Providence, R.I., to face Providence (17-26, 2-12 Big East) in its penultimate series of the season.

“Obviously we want to win. We want to win games, we want to see if we can pick up a couple of spots in the conference standings,” Head Coach Pat Conlan said. “I want our seniors to go out on a positive note, and I want our program to build off of where we are right now.”

Last weekend, Georgetown lost two out of three games against Villanova (29-15, 11-4 Big East), but the Hoyas ended the Wildcats’ 17-game winning streak when they won the first game by a score of 11-5. Senior pitcher Samantha Giovanniello pitched seven innings, earning her seventh win of the season.

Junior catcher Gabriela Elvina and senior third baseman Taylor Henry each went 3-for-3 at the plate, driving in two runs apiece. Giovanniello, sophomore left fielder Theresa Kane and freshman designated player Sarah Bennett had two hits each.

“At this point it’s all about execution,” Conlan said. “I loved this past weekend, I thought we competed well, I think we fought. We scored 11 runs off the best pitcher in our conference. We are capable of doing great things.”

Georgetown lost the second and third games of the series by scores of 2-1 and 4-1, respectively. The team is focused on improving its mindset in order to have more success in close games.

“I think one of our big issues is [that] we kind of fall off the track a little bit if a team scores a couple of runs,” Giovanniello said. “We tend to get down on ourselves, and I think that if we’re able to just keep a consistent mindset and just keep focus, I think that we’ll be able to come back in those close games instead of being shut down.”

Junior pitcher Delaney Osterday has been a key player for the Hoyas recently. All season, the Hoyas have leaned on Giovanniello to pitch the majority of the games, as Osterday, who served as Georgetown’s No. 2 pitcher for most of the year, struggled early in the season. However, Osterday appears to have settled in, as she pitched two complete games against the Wildcats, losing both games but limiting the Wildcats to six runs, four of which were earned, in 12 innings pitched.

“I think her confidence is something that she struggled with in the past, but seeing her on the mound and comparing it to when she came in as a freshman, it’s like a completely different player out there,” Giovanniello said of Osterday. “So I’m really proud of her for really coming into her own and being able to feel as confident in herself as we feel in her on the field.”

The Hoyas also recently implemented a new defensive shift behind Osterday, which has helped her and her team limit opposing offenses.

“We are stepping outside the traditional box of softball, and we put on a defensive shift and found a way to cover more ground defensively,” Conlan said. “So she responded very well to it, our defense did a fantastic job, and it was two of her best games of the year.”

Georgetown currently sits in seventh place out of eight teams in the Big East standings, but it will have an opportunity to make up ground this weekend against Providence, which is in eighth place. The Friars have several offensive threats in their lineup, led by freshman outfielder Emma Lee, who leads the team with a .415 batting average. Sophomore outfielder Brittney Veler and senior outfielder Kiki Baldassari also boast batting averages over .300 this season.

The Hoyas can expect to face sophomore pitcher Christina Ramirez at least once this season. Ramirez leads the Friars in innings pitched, strikeouts and wins.

Georgetown and Providence will play a doubleheader on Saturday and the first pitch will be thrown at 12:00 p.m. The teams will play the final game of the series on Sunday at 2 p.m.

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