May 13, 2005

After a one hour and 16 minute rain and lighting delay, the fourth game of the BIG EAST Softball Championship got underway, pitting the 3 seed Syracuse Orange (27-21) vs. the 4 seed Villanova Wildcats (38-24).

It was a pitcher duel as both pitchers seemed to battle around with a combined 11 strikeouts. Shannon Williams from Villanova and Erin Downey allowed a combined one hit in the game, with Downey edging Williams in the pitch count.

Syracuse started to make some noise when leadoff hitter Tanya Rose singled to left field to start the bottom half of the 4th inning. Then Chanel Roehner laid down a sacrifice bunt, reaching base on an error. Rose then reached 3rd base and scored on the sacrifice bunt by Courtney Mosch, but a throwing error on Villanova allowed Roehner to score and Mosch got on base due to the throwing error.

Villanova got with in striking distance when Jackie Dempsey reached third base on a shot to right field. Sheri Donley reached base on a walk followed by a hard hit ball by the center fielder Lisa Krueger to the second baseman, who let the ball go past for an error, which scored Dempsey and got the wildcats within a run.

In bottom half of the fifth inning with two out and Syracuse batting, we encountered a rain delay for approximately 17 minutes.

As play continued into the bottom of the sixth, the Orange started a rally loading the bases with no outs on a single to left by Alexis Switenko, a hit-by-pitch for Courtney Mosch, and a bloop single behind the mound by Shawna Norris. Cassie Morales then popped up to the shortstop, before a sacrifice fly to centerfield by Erin Gray extended the Syracuse lead to 3-1. The lead increased again to 5-1 before the end of the sixth on a single to center by Jamie Grillo. Grillo picked up an RBI, and a fielding error by Wildcat centerfielder Lisa Krueger allowed a second run to score, and the hitter to advance to third.

The Wildcats tried to scrape together a rally in the top of the seventh, with back-to-back one out singles by Sarah Wall and Veronica Alvarez before Downey buckled down to finish off the win, improving to 17-10. The Orange pitcher pitched a complete game, giving up four hits and no earned runs. Williams picks up the loss, falling to 23-14, giving up six hits, five runs, three of them earned in six innings.

Syracuse improves their record to 28-21, while Villanova falls to 38-25.