Softball | Lackluster Offense Leads to 5th Straight Loss

It has been a tough season for the Georgetown softball team (13-28, 3-10 Big East), that recorded another loss on the diamond on Tuesday against George Washington (22-20, 4-11 Atlantic 10).

The Hoyas could not hold off the Colonials, losing 4-2 in their last non-conference game of the season and extending their losing streak to five games.

George Washington scored off a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first inning to take the lead, but Georgetown evened things up in the top of the fourth when junior shortstop Grace Appelbe scored on an error.

But in the bottom of the fourth, senior pitcher Megan Hyson walked the first two batters, and a George Washington single brought them both home to make the score 4-1.

In the top of the sixth inning, it looked as if Georgetown might be able to mount a comeback. Senior right fielder Sophia Gargicevich-Almeida doubled to right center field, and two batters later, junior third baseman Taylor Henry hit a double of her own to drive in Gargicevich-Almeida and cut the Colonials’ lead to two runs. Unfortunately, that would be the only other run the Hoyas could muster.

Hyson, while allowing four runs, also recorded 10 strikeouts for the third time this season.

“Overall, I thought [Hyson] threw a pretty good game, with the exception being some leadoff walks that scored,” Head Coach Pat Conlan said. “They got a few hits off of her here and there, but she had ten strikeouts, so it was a pretty typical Megan performance.  We didn’t play very well behind her defensively, and I think that kind of sums up our season.”

The Hoyas have six more games to turn their season around, including their final home series this weekend against Providence (10-20, 4-9 Big East), which will serve as Senior Day for Hyson, Gargicevich-Almeida and senior pitcher Lauren O’Leary.

“Our seniors have had a tremendous career for us and a huge impact on our program, and I would love for us to put some quality games together and win a few for them,” Conlan said.

Hyson has recorded569 career strikeouts and last year led the Hoyas in batting average (.373), hits, home runs and walks. This year her record stands at 10-15, but her ERA is 3.44.

“[Hyson is] a fantastic athlete. She’s led us offensively and certainly on the mound over her four years. Her shoes are going to be really hard to fill in the future,” Conlan said. “More than anything, Megan’s clutch.”

O’Leary has amassed 383 career strikeouts, and Conlan remembers a specific moment in her career that made Georgetown history.

“[O’Leary] actually had one of our bigger wins in our program history when we beat Louisville when she was a sophomore, the seventh ranked team in the country,” Conlan said. “She’s been a pitcher who’s been able to compete at the highest level and it’s been fun to watch her throw.”

Gargicevich-Almeida, meanwhile, currently has a team-high 21 RBIs and has played outfield as well as first base.

“What’s best about Sophia is that she saved her best for last,” Conlan said. “She’s someone who brings it every day for us and has really done a fantastic job, really one of the only ones who’s been consistent for us throughout the year.”

The three seniors will take Guy Mason Field for the last time this weekend to face a Providence team that sits one place above them in the Big East standings.

The Hoyas, who are currently last in the Big East standings, have not yet been mathematically eliminated from the postseason conference tournament, but they would need to win their last six games in order to have a shot.

Conlan would like to see her team play for something else more than just a tournament bid.

“I would like to see our group get it together and play for a little pride, make sure that we win a few more games, put ourselves in a better situation in the standings,” Conlan said.  “We’re currently in last place, and that’s not where anyone wants to be and never where our program has been, so I’d like to climb out of there for nothing else.”

This season marks a dip in the upward trend that has defined the team’s 10 years of existence. The Hoyas made the tournament the last two seasons and last year secured the first winning record in program history. After being predicted to finish high in the Big East, their current standing is not where they thought they would be.

“We’re going to continue to try to finish this season out strong and get back to work this summer and bring in new recruits and do it all over again next year and hopefully with better outcomes and more success,” Conlan said. “For our program it’s just a minor bump in the road. I certainly wish for the kids in the program right now that we had a better year but we’ll be back, I can promise you that.”

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