SOFTBALL | Hyson Gives GU Lone Weekend Win
Published: Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Updated: Tuesday, February 25, 2014 00:02
For the second weekend in a row, the Georgetown softball team battled the elements in addition to the opposition. Although the Hoyas’ tournament at the University of South Carolina was not cancelled — unlike last weekend’s tournament — the team faced rain delays, including a two-and-a-half-hour delay in its first game against Gardner-Webb.
Georgetown faced off against Gardner-Webb, UNC-Wilmington, Boston University and Michigan State, and walked away with a 1-3 record — only recording a win in its second game against UNC-Wilmington.
In the first game of the tournament, the Hoyas had to wait out a rain delay. When they finally got on the field, both teams struggled on offense and the pitching dominated the pace of the game for all seven innings of regular play.
Junior pitcher Lauren O’Leary (1-3) started for the Blue and Gray and held the Runnin’ Bulldogs to five hits and no runs, sending the game to extra innings.
“I thought Lauren pitched a great game,” Head Coach Pat Conlan said. “All I can ask of our pitchers is to put us in a position to win the game and she did that.”
In the top of the eighth, with the international tie rule in play — meaning that a runner is put on second at the start of the inning — sophomore shortstop Samantha Giovanniello singled in freshman center fielder Hannah Ramsey for the first run of the game to give Georgetown the 1-0 lead.
But in the bottom of the eighth, Gardner-Webb answered with a run of its own, doubling home its designated runner to tie the game. A sacrifice fly then scored another run, and the Bulldogs won the game 2-1.
The Hoyas had a quick turnaround going into game two against UNC-Wilmington later that day.
“One of the things that we work hard on is to focus on one pitch, on winning, one game at a time,” Conlan said. “We can’t change the outcome of a game we can only learn from it and move on to the next.”
At the plate, junior pitcher Megan Hyson (2-3) went 2-for-3 with a double, a triple, a walk and three RBIs. Meanwhile, on the mound Hyson limited the Seahawks to three hits in a complete game effort.
For her weekend performances, Hyson was named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll, batting .400 with four RBIs and three extra-base hits. Her season ERA stands at 2.77.
“Megan Hyson had a great offensive weekend,” Conlan said. “She did a great job on the mound and backed that up with clutch hitting throughout the tournament.”
The Hoyas built an early lead, scoring four runs in the first two innings to go up 4-1 after UNC-Wilmington scored an unearned run.
But the Hoyas put away the game for good in the fourth, when Hyson drove in three with her bases-loaded triple, and senior outfielder Allie Anttila hit her first homer of the year — a solo shot — for a 7-1 lead. The Seahawks would get one more run but never really threatened, and the Hoyas got their third win of the season 7-2.
“I thought the entire lineup had quality at-bats,” Conlan said. “It was fun to put up seven runs on the scoreboard. It makes pitching and defense a little easier.”
On Sunday, Georgetown returned to the diamond against Boston University. O’Leary once again pitched for the Hoyas and went six innings while allowing three unearned runs and two earned.
Like the first game, the Georgetown offense struggled in the early innings. While the Terriers collected five runs throughout the first six innings, the Hoyas were held scoreless. Facing a 6-0 deficit in the bottom of the seventh, Georgetown put together a rally. Anttila singled, freshman catcher Gabriela Elvina doubled her home and then senior outfielder Elyse Graziano (2-4, one run, one RBI) singled her in. A fielding error loaded the bases with two outs, but Georgetown couldn’t capitalize and it ended the game 6-3 on a flyout.
In the final game of the tournament, Georgetown took on Michigan State with Hyson getting the start. The Hoyas grabbed an early 2-0 lead in the first with two outs on a walk and a couple of hits but were held scoreless for the rest of the game.
Michigan State, meanwhile, scored in the second, third, fourth and fifth innings, capitalizing on some Georgetown errors that, combined with its hitting, resulted in an 8-2 victory.
“Four errors is too much,” Conlan said. “You don’t give yourself a chance to win if you give runs away.”
But despite going 1-3 over the weekend, Conlan is happy with the progress her team is making and regards the tournament as a valuable experience leading up to conference play later in the season.
“I thought we did a lot of good things,” Conlan said. “Our focus is to clean up the little things and put together all phases of the game.”