Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

SOFTBALL | Dominant DePaul Pitching Secures Series Sweep

In a battle between the Big East’s top two teams this weekend, DePaul (29-8, 10-0 Big East) demonstrated its dominance within the conference, sweeping Georgetown (19-18, 7-5 Big East) in a three-game series.

With the sweep, the Blue Demons maintain possession of first place, while Georgetown remains second even after a disappointing weekend and its first three-game losing streak since mid-March.

The Blue Demons’ offense proved to be the biggest problem for the Hoyas, who allowed 21 runs in the series while only managing to score seven.

The DePaul bats came out firing in game one, stringing together three hits and two runs in the first inning to take the early lead. Georgetown managed to make the score 2-1 after DePaul committed three errors in the third. The Blue Demons quickly responded, however, with three runs — all of which were unearned — in the fourth.

Junior Megan Hyson, who leads the team in batting average, RBIs and home runs, kept the Hoyas within striking distance when she launched a two-run shot in the sixth.

DePaul took a 6-3 lead into the seventh, but the Hoyas still had three more outs, and they made use of them. Freshman Alessandra Gargicevich-Almeida homered and drove in two runs on yet another error to tie the game at six.

“The comeback to tie in the seventh is characteristic of this team,” Head Coach Pat Conlan said. “These girls have a never-say-die attitude and it makes us difficult to compete against.”

In the bottom of the seventh, the Hoyas loaded the bases with an intentional walk and one out in order to set up a double play. But the Blue Demons managed to get a single which plated a run, ending the game at 7-6.

“The girls fought all the way to the end of the game,” Conlan said. “I was pleased with our effort and energy, but DePaul has a lot of weapons and found a way to pull out a win.”

Junior Lauren O’Leary took the loss for Georgetown, which turned to game two looking to avenge the close loss.

But the DePaul offense kept flowing with a two-run home run putting them up early, a lead the team would never relinquish en route to a 5-0 shutout victory. Georgetown’s Hyson took the loss, while DePaul’s senior Kristen Verdun earned her 20th win of the season with eight strikeouts.

“Kirsten Verdun has been the toughest pitcher in the Big East over the last four years,” Conlan said. “I thought we had quality at bats against her, and I think that is something important we can build upon. DePaul made the plays defensively and made it difficult for us to get anything going.”

The Hoyas only managed four hits, two from senior second baseman Hannah Slovacek, and never really threatened the Blue Demons. Another error keyed DePaul’s three-run fifth.

With the possibility of a sweep, Georgetown sought to end its trip with one victory, but DePaul scored two runs in the first inning, which they managed in all three games of the series.

Georgetown struggled offensively the whole weekend against Verdun, who started each game of the three-game series. She has had Georgetown’s number in the past, as she was in the circle for last year’s Big East quarterfinal — a 1-0 win for DePaul. She once again dominated Sunday — the Hoyas did not get a hit or a base runner until the fifth inning. In the top of the fifth, Hyson scored off a single after she was hit by a pitch to start the inning.

That brought the score to within one, but DePaul scored seven runs in the bottom half of the inning, and Verdun hit a home run. The run differential ended the game after five innings, with O’Leary earning the loss.

“We struggled a little on defense, and we put too many people on base with walks this weekend,” Conlan said. “That’s not a great combination when you play a team like DePaul. We’ll continue to work on that as we move forward in the season.”

Georgetown is second in the conference but is closely trailed by Seton Hall and Creighton. This weekend, the Hoyas will face Butler (17-23, 5-6 Big East) and look to put the disappointing weekend behind them.

“It was a tough weekend and we didn’t play as well as we hoped,” Conlan said. “However, it’s over and we’re looking forward to Butler this weekend. We have a great team and our goal with practice this week is to get everyone back on track for our next series.”

 

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