SOFTBALL | Hoyas Break Slump at UMBC Spring Classic
Published: Monday, March 19, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 16:03
After a miserable spring break, Georgetown’s softball team broke their slump on the second day of this weekend’s UMBC Spring Classic. Four close games in two days meant that a split series breathed new life into a team that had been reverting to last season’s disappointing form.
While the Blue and Gray started the season well, they lost 10 of their 12 games during a spring break road trip to Florida before rebounding to beat Drexel last week. But that momentum didn’t translate into wins this weekend, as the Hoyas dropped two tough decisions in Baltimore.
Georgetown started the weekend facing St. Francis (Pa.) on Friday morning. They were badly out-hit by the Red Flash — who had five hits to the Hoyas’ two — and the end result, a 2-1 loss, mirrored that disparity.
“We were pressing and we didn't have quality at-bats,” junior catcher Shikara Lowe said. “We were impatient at the plate and we weren't as sharp as we needed to be on defense.”
Still, the Blue and Gray found a bright spot in freshman pitcher Megan Hyson, who pitched all six innings for the Hoyas and recorded five strikeouts.
After disappointing in the first game of the day, the Hoyas hoped to pick up a win against Robert Morris. But despite a strong pitching performance from senior Mackensey Carter — who allowed only one run — the Hoyas were unable to push any runs across the plate and lost, 1-0.
“I think the numerous one-run games and extra-inning games we have played show how competitive we are,” Head Coach Pat Conlan said. “We are in every ballgame and have an opportunity to win.”
Georgetown got a respite on St. Patrick’s Day but returned to Baltimore on Sunday, hoping to redeem themselves after Friday’s two defeats. Once again, the games would be close, but the Hoyas proved that they had it in them to gut out a win.
In the first game, Sacred Heart senior designated hitter Liz Tsipouras hit a leadoff home run in the top of the second to give the Pioneers an early lead. They tacked on two more runs in the fifth inning. The top of the Georgetown lineup came on strong, however, putting together a string of hits in the bottom of the sixth.
After a leadoff double from Hyson, sophomore center fielder Elyse Graziano singled, advancing Hyson to third. Lowe put the Hoyas on the board with a triple, then scored on a pop-up from Carter.
The game took a dramatic turn when the Pioneers seized a 5-3 lead in the top of the seventh, but the Hoyas would have the last word. With two runners on base and Lowe at bat, a three-run walk-off home run made the score 6-5 and gave the Hoyas their first win of the weekend.
“We fought,” Lowe said. “We wanted those wins, and we were willing to do whatever it took to get them.”
Conlan was also pleased with the win and especially with Georgetown’s effort to avoid another late-game collapse.
Instead of celebrating, the Blue and Gray stayed focused on business and carried their momentum into the second game, this time against Mount St. Mary’s.
The second game also ended with a walk-off home run. With the score tied at one apiece, sophomore shortstop Allie Anttila went long and gave the Hoyas a 2-1 win.
“I was really impressed with our fight and how we stayed calm throughout both games,” Lowe said. “We never doubted we would win those games.”
The team will need to keep that steady confidence going for their next game, which will take place against local rival George Washington Thursday at 3 p.m.