SOFTBALL | GU Continues Turnaround
Published: Friday, March 22, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 22, 2013 01:03
The Georgetown softball team returned from last weekend’s University of Maryland, Baltimore County Tournament to sweep the Princeton Tigers in a doubleheader at Guy Mason Field Wednesday afternoon.
Princeton (10-6, 0-0 Ivy), victors of seven of its past eight, came in on a hot streak, but it was Georgetown (8-20, 0-0 Big East) that jumped out to a quick lead in the bottom of the second when junior second baseman Hannah Slovacek singled down the left-field line to drive in two runs.
The Tigers would earn a run back in the top of the third thanks to a two-out rally and some shaky Blue and Gray defense. With Princeton center fielder Lizzy Pierce on first, right fielder Candy Button knocked a double down the left-field line that Georgetown sophomore left fielder Sophia Gargicevich-Almeida could not make a play on, allowing Pierce to score all the way from first.
The Hoyas scored their third run of the day in the bottom of the third to extend the lead to 3-1, and three was all that sophomore starting pitcher Lauren O’Leary would need. O’Leary impressed once again, pitching her fourth consecutive complete game while allowing three hits and no earned runs while striking out 11.
“I thought that was Lauren’s best outing this year,” Head Coach Pat Conlan said. “She had command of her pitches, had a little zip on the ball, stayed ahead in the counts and really controlled Princeton’s offense.”
In the nightcap of the doubleheader, it was Princeton’s turn to jump out to an early lead. Georgetown junior right fielder Alexandria Anttila could not hold on to a line drive down the foul line, which allowed the Tigers to take a 2-0 lead.
Georgetown managed to even the game up in the bottom of the third with a flurry of hits and some creative base running by Anttila and senior catcher Shikara Lowe.
In the top of the sixth, the Hoyas attempted to work their way out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam with some solid defense. Freshman third baseman Taylor Henry made a spectacular catch on a foul ball to record the second out of the inning, but Gargicevich-Almeida’s dive fell an inch short of a blooper single and two Princeton runs scored, giving the Tigers a 4-2 lead.
Once again, the Blue and Gray battled back, loading the bases and then tying the game in the bottom of the sixth after a few costly mistakes by Tigers pitcher Alex Peyton, including a hit batsman and a wild pitch. With one out and the bases loaded, the Hoyas looked primed to take the lead headed into the seventh inning, but Slovacek grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Both teams failed to score in the seventh, sending the game into extra innings. Neither team scored in the eighth, but the Tigers scored twice in the top of the ninth to take a two-run lead for the third time in the game.
For the third time, however, Georgetown refused to go away. Sophomore pitcher Megan Hyson was hit by a pitch to begin the inning, and subsequent singles by Henry and freshman Samantha Giovanniello brought the Hoyas within one and put runners on first and second for Gargicevich-Almeida. She launched a double to right-center field that easily scored Henry and Giovanniello, winning the game for the Hoyas in a walk-off fashion.
“I’ve been in that spot a lot already this season,” said Gargicevich-Almeida. “It was my time, and I had to take advantage.”
The win was the fourth in the past five games for the Hoyas, and Conlan seemed happy with where her team is at the moment.
“The last ten days, I feel like we’re playing a little more confidently and competing. We earned these two W’s today,” Conlan said.
Georgetown begins Big East play with a series against Villanova this weekend.