SOFTBALL | GU Stumbles, Finds Footing in Season-Opening Tourney
Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 20:02
With hopes of starting of its season on a positive note, the Georgetown softball team headed down to Miami this past weekend to participate in the 2013 Panther Invitational, hosted by Florida International. The reality, however, wasn’t so favorable, as the Hoyas (1-4) dropped their first four contests before finally getting on track in their fifth and final game of the tournament.
The Blue and Gray kicked things off against North Carolina State (4-1) Friday morning. Georgetown took an early lead in the first when junior right fielder Allie Anttila hit a double and then crossed the plate on a single up the middle from senior catcher and co-captain Shikara Lowe. Lowe would go 2-for-3 on the day, driving in the Hoyas’ only run. The Wolfpack scored two runs through four innings to keep the Hoyas within striking distance, but a three-run fifth from the opposition put Georgetown away for good, settling the final score at 5-1.
Just hours later, Georgetown took on tournament hosts FIU (1-5) with sophomore pitcher Megan Hyson was on the mound. Hyson gave up three runs in the first and one in the second, putting the Hoyas in a quick hole. Although the next couple of innings were unproductive for either team, the Blue and Gray began making up ground in the fifth. Freshman shortstop Samantha Giovanniello — who had an excellent debut weekend with four hits and three runs — got on base with a single and moved to second when Anttila was hit by a pitch. Both Giovanniello and Anttila advanced on a single from Lowe, and the Hoyas got their first run off a wild pitch. Hyson was up next, and her groundout to second was enough to score Anttila, cutting the Panthers’ lead in half. The Hoyas would add one more in the sixth, but the comeback ultimately fell short, resulting in a 4-3 loss.
Even so, Head Coach Pat Conlan saw Giovanniello’s contributions as a definite bright spot.
"I thought Samantha Giovanniello had a good first weekend," Conlan said. "She has an excellent bat and really sets the tone for our offense at the top of the order."
Georgetown faced its toughest opponent when it took on Kansas (4-1) twice on Saturday, and the Jayhawks brandished their superiority almost immediately. Similar to their matchup with the Wolfpack the day before, the Hoyas got out to an early one-run lead. And while the game remained close — with Georgetown only trailing by one going into the fourth — Kansas’ six-run inning off sophomore pitcher Lauren O’Leary and junior pitcher Hannah Slovacek gave it an insurmountable seven-run lead. The Jayhawks would go on to tack on one more, claiming the first game of the series 9-1.
Hyson took the circle for the nightcap, but the Jayhawks’ bats were once again unkind, as they lit her up for five runs and ten hits. Down 3-0 in the sixth, the Hoyas put up two to cut the deficit to one, but the Jayhawks answered back in the bottom of the inning to bring the game to its final 5-2 scoreline.
"We had runners in scoring position on a regular basis," Conlan said. "We now need to find a way to get the big hits to drive in those runs."