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 | Late Rally Secures Win Over GWU

The Georgetown softball team (22-20, 8-7 Big East) defeated crosstown rival George Washington University (16-27-1, 2-8 Atlantic 10) in dramatic fashion Tuesday with a come-from-behind victory.

The nonconference win gave the team their 21st of the season, tying a team record for single-season wins set in 2008 and tied in 2013. On Thursday, the Hoyas defeated Towson (25-19) 10-1. The win was their program-record 22nd victory of the season.

Against GWU, Georgetown struck first, taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning when, with two outs, senior second baseman Hannah Slovacek drew a walk and scored on junior designated hitter Megan Hyson’s triple.

But the lead wouldn’t last, as the Colonials scored four runs in the first two innings, three off a home run, giving them a three-run lead early in the game.The Blue and Gray battled back, as Hyson plated two runs with a bases-loaded single in the third. Sophomore shortstop Samantha Giovanniello followed with a sacrifice fly to score Slovacek and knot things up at four apiece.

“I think the team showed great poise and a lot of grit in climbing back into the game after going down early,” Head Coach Pat Conlan said.

It became a pitcher’s duel for the next two innings, with Hyson coming on in relief in the fourth. Neither team could break through until the sixth inning, when freshman catcher Alessandra Gargicevich-Almeida drew a walk to start things off. After a sacrifice bunt advanced her to second, her older sister, junior first baseman Sophia Gargicevich-Almeida, singled to drive in the go-ahead run, giving Georgetown a 5-4 lead.

But things weren’t over yet. Georgetown still needed to close out the seventh inning. With Hyson in the circle, a single and a sacrifice bunt quickly put a runner in scoring position. A single sent the lead runner breaking toward home, but a clutch throw gunned her down at the plate, getting the out and preserving the lead.

“Elyse’s throw home was a game-saving and game-winning throw,” Conlan said. “To make that throw when the game is on the line shows her ability to perform under pressure.”

One batter later, Hyson recorded her seventh strikeout in four innings, the Colonials going down looking as she earned her 12th win of the season.

Georgetown capitalized on opportunities against GWU, making key plays that led to the victory.

“You protect leads with great defense, and we made big plays throughout the entire game,” Conlan said.

The win comes on the heels of a weekend visit from Butler (21-24, 7-7 Big East), where the Hoyas went 1-2 against their conference rivals. In the first game, Georgetown outlasted the Bulldogs in a nine-inning affair. It took a 5-2 lead into the seventh, but a two-out Butler single and a two-run home run quickly evened things out and sent the game into extra innings.

With the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, Graziano came through with a clutch single, giving the Hoyas a walk-off 6-5 victory to start the series. Graziano’s play this season has been essential to Georgetown’s success; she’s second on the team, hitting .305.

“Elyse is in the middle of a great senior year. She has been the catalyst of our offense and defense and the heart of the team,” Conlan said.

The second game did not feature the same success for Georgetown. Giovanniello had three hits, but Butler controlled the Hoyas in a 4-2 victory.

In the rubber match on Saturday, Georgetown suffered after not capitalizing on some key opportunities — when the Hoyas loaded the bases with one out in the first, Butler pitched out of the jam, getting a strikeout and a popout to end the threat. Much of the game went the same way for the Hoyas, who had five hits but could not score in the 2-0 loss. Butler scored on a single and a suicide squeeze.

The weekend puts the Blue and Gray in second place in the Big East behind DePaul, which currently leads the conference with a 3-0 record. Georgetown has two remaining series, against last-place Providence and against Seton Hall, which also sports an 8-7 conference record.
Tuesday’s win marked an important victory for the team over their D.C. rivals, but for Conlan, the opponent is not as important as the success.

“I like to win every game no matter who we play,” she said.

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