This past weekend, the Georgetown women’s softball team traveled to Boiling Springs, N.C., to kick off their season at the Gardner-Webb University Tournament. Despite some good pitching outings, the Hoyas won one of their four games and finished in last place.

Spanning from Friday, Feb. 8 to Sunday, Feb. 10, the tournament hosted four teams from the surrounding areas to begin the spring season. In their season opener, the Hoyas (1-3) faced the George Washington Colonials (3-2). Junior pitcher Katie Vannicola started on the mound for the Blue & Gray, recording four strikeouts, eight hits and two earned runs in six and 2/3 innings pitched on the day. Vannicola was relieved in the seventh inning by sophomore pitcher London Diller, who closed out the game and allowed only one hit.

The game remained scoreless for the first three innings, but broke open in the fourth and fifth innings, with Georgetown recording one run in the fourth and four in the fifth inning. Sophomore infielder Savannah Jones tripled to lead off in the fourth and was driven in by freshman infielder Mae Forshey on a groundout to the shortstop to put the Hoyas on the board. In the fifth inning, a string of hits and fielding errors by George Washington led to four more runs. The Hoyas would score two more runs in the seventh, defeating the Colonials 7-2.

The Blue & Gray played a doubleheader on Saturday, first facing Furman University (2-3) and then Gardner-Webb University (3-1).

GUHOYAS | The opening win against George Washington provided the lone bright spot for the Hoyas on the weekend.

In the Furman game, Diller took the mound for the Hoyas, pitching for one inning and allowing three hits and four earned runs. Vannicola relieved Diller in the second inning, pitching for the remaining six innings and allowing one earned and three unearned runs on six hits.

The Hoyas opened the game with a double to right-field by junior outfielder Alexa Dolby followed by an RBI single from Forshey. Holiday contributed a double of her own, driving in Forshey and giving the Hoyas a 2-0 lead. The Paladins answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the first inning, stringing together several hits and walks.

The Hoyas were kept scoreless in the top of the second while the Paladins earned another two runs off of a home run, a double and a fielding error. Georgetown led an offensive comeback in the fourth inning, tallying three more runs through a sequence of hits by freshman pitcher Cassie Henning, freshman infielder KiKi Besnard and sophomore infielder NeNe Campos to tie the game at five.

Furman answered with a run in the bottom of the fourth inning, and Georgetown again tied the game at six in the top of the fifth. The game remained tied through the sixth and seventh, prompting extra innings. After failing to score in the top of the inning, the Hoyas conceded a run to the Paladins on an error in the bottom of the eighth, ending the game as an 7-6 loss.

Later in the day, Georgetown faced Gardner-Webb, losing by a score of 2-10. Henning pitched four innings and allowed one unearned and six earned runs off of nine hits. Junior pitcher Casey Kozak relieved Henning in the fifth inning, giving up three hits and three earned runs before the game ended by mercy rule in the sixth.

The Blue & Gray earned one run in the fourth off of a double by Holiday, a single by senior first baseman Sarah Bennett, and an RBI single by Besnard. A leadoff single by Jones in the fifth and an RBI double by Holiday recorded another run for Georgetown.

Despite the win over George Washington on Friday, the Hoyas fell to the Colonials in their rematch on Sunday by a score of 11-2. Diller started the game for Georgetown, pitching five innings and allowing all 11 earned runs.

From the beginning of the game, the Hoyas faced offensive pressure from the Colonials. In the first inning, Diller gave up a single to senior infielder Marta Fuentes of George Washington, who would steal second and third before scoring on a foul out. Georgetown’s D.C. rival scored four more runs in the second, two in the fourth and four in the fifth. Diller conceded 11 hits on the day, four of which were doubles and one home run.

The Hoyas scored both of their runs in the third inning, with Forshey hitting an RBI double and junior first baseman Noelle Holiday recording an RBI single. The game concluded after the fifth inning in accordance with the collegiate mercy rule, which mandates any game with a lead margin of eight runs or more must end after five innings of play.

Jones was named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll following the tournament. Jones emerged from the weekend with a team-best .846 slugging percentage and second-best .385 batting average, along with three runs, five hits, four RBIs, three triples and one stolen base.

The Hoyas will play again in Las Vegas on in the 10-team, three-day Boyd Gaming Rebel Classic. They will first face Seattle University at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15 at Stephanie Lynn Park.

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