Softball limps to the finish line after a winning start at the Gamecock Invitational

February 19, 2018

The Georgetown women’s softball team (2-7, Big East) fell to 2-7 on the season this weekend at the Gamecock Invitational in Columbia, S.C., dropping their final three games after winning their opener against the Michigan State Spartans (3-6, Big 10) on Friday. The results were reversed from those earned at last weekend’s FGCU Kickoff Classic, where the Hoyas beat LIU-Brooklyn (3-7, Northeast) 8-3 after dropping their first four matchups.

Many of the positives this young Georgetown team can take back to Washington from their weekend in the Palmetto State can be drawn from their only win against Michigan State. The Blue and Gray fell behind early on Friday afternoon, in what would become a common theme of their four games, but clawed back from deficits twice to earn the victory. In the bottom of the fourth inning, Hoyas junior third baseman Kelly Amen’s two-out, two-run double knotted the scores at two, while sophomore pitcher Anna Brooks Pacha settled down to throw six consecutive scoreless innings after allowing two runs in the second. In extra innings, Sparty plated one runner in the top of the ninth against Pacha, but in the bottom of the frame freshman second baseman Arylene Campos’ triple with one runner on base tied it up for the Hoyas, and she scored to win it on a two-out error at second base.

The Hoyas did not fare as well in Saturday’s games however. GU fell behind after giving up three runs in the first inning against a very strong Mercer team (6-2, Southern), but sophomore catcher Sera Stephens scored on an error in the third before junior designated hitter Sarah Bennett’s home run in the bottom of the fourth pulled Georgetown within one. That was as close as the Hoyas would come, however, as a four-run Tigers fifth inning against sophomore pitcher Katie Vannicola put the game out of reach as the Hoyas fell 8-4.

The later Saturday game against the Southern Illinois Salukis (4-4, Missouri Valley) was one to forget for the Hoyas. The Hoyas yielded two runs in the opening frame before the floodgates opened in the second, as a SIU grand slam featured in what was a six-run second against freshman pitcher London Diller. Georgetown would see their deficit increase to thirteen by the top of the fifth before pulling four runs back in the bottom of the inning, highlighted by junior center fielder Mallory Belknap’s two-run single. That scoreline would hold as the Hoyas fell 13-4.

Sunday’s closing game of the tournament against hosts University of South Carolina (9-1, SEC) provided a redemptive opportunity for the Blue and Gray against strong opposition. Pacha gave up three runs in the top of the first but would settle again en route to throwing six total innings on the afternoon, while Campos’ RBI fielder’s choice in the top of the third ensured the Hoyas would have a shot at pulling off the upset. The Georgetown bats went cold from there on a day where they only mustered two hits, while the Gamecocks added two more runs in the bottom of the fourth on a home run and an RBI single against Pacha. The Hoyas’ comeback efforts fell short in the top of the seventh, however, despite freshman shortstop Savannah Jones’ RBI double and junior third baseman Olivia Russ’ sacrifice fly, resulting in a 5-3 defeat.

Georgetown will look to right the ship going back to South Carolina this coming weekend at the Chanticleer Showdown, hosted by Coastal Carolina University. The Hoyas open against the University of Pittsburgh (5-3-1, ACC) at 9:30 a.m. ET on Friday, February 23 and will play two games each against the Panthers and the home Chanticleers (9-2, Sun Belt), and one against St. Joseph’s (2-3, A10) as part of a five-game slate. Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for updates and brekaing news.

Will Shanahan
is a senior in the McDonough School of Business, and former Sports Executive and Editor of The Voice. He spends his days plotting visits to downstairs Leo's when the omelet line will be short and trying to recall memories of his middling high school football career.

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