This post was written by Hatchet reporter Mark Eisenhauer.
In its non-conference finale against crosstown-rival Georgetown Tuesday, the softball team fell to the Hoyas by a slim margin, 5-4.
The loss was all too familiar for the Colonials who had the production of their offense overshadowed by defensive errors and pitching woes.
“We had quite a few strikeouts, but they were all solid at bats where they fought deep into the count,” head coach Stacey Schramm said. “Our offense has always been our strength and its unfortunate we didn’t produce today, but it was also one of those days where four runs should have been enough.”
Following two convincing strikeouts by sophomore starting pitcher Meghan Rico, the Hoyas struck first in the bottom of the first after a walk and ensuing triple to right center field. But Rico was able to get out of the inning, leaving room for the Colonials to retaliate.
Junior Victoria Valos reached base on a walk to begin the second inning, with hits from freshmen Jillian Galich and Paige Kovalsky later bringing Valos home to tie the game.
Rico followed with a one-two-three bottom of the second inning to set up the Colonials for a big third. Freshman Marissa Mangini sparked the offense with a lead-off single, followed by a walk from sophomore Morgan Matetic.
In her second at bat of the game, Valos drove both base runners in on the first pitch, blasting a three-run home run to right field. The home run, Valos’ 27th career shot, broke the all-time program record previously set by Jackie Yaniga in 2008.
Despite Valos’ three-run boost, the Colonials allowed Georgetown to get right back in the game. In the bottom of the third, Rico allowed a double, hit a batter, surrendered a walk and then gave up another single that led to three more runs for the Hoyas.
After two innings of solid work, the bottom of the sixth caused more problems for Rico. Another walk and a sacrifice bunt put the winning run in scoring position, with a single to left center bringing home the eventual winning run.
“It really does feel like I’ve seen this movie before. All of a sudden you see the same things happen. I really don’t know how many times we’ve went up by a few runs and then let the lead off get on in the next inning,” Schramm said. “It’s really frustrating because our pitchers should really feel very confident with a little cushion, but its kind of the opposite.”
The Colonials had a shot in the top of the seventh to tie it up after getting sophomore Bradleigh Breland in scoring position. After freshman Megan Linn hit a single up the middle, Breland was signaled home, but got called out at the plate on a great throw by the Georgetown center-fielder.
Schramm said after the game that she had no regrets about the call because Breland is one of the faster runners on the team. She said Breland hesitated to see if the ball was down, a move that could have made a difference.
Eventually, Matetic struck out for the game’s final out, handing the Colonials their 27th loss of the season.
“It was a step in the right direction” Schramm said. “If they play like this this weekend there’s going to be some good outcomes because they were solid and the whole demeanor and energy of the team was solid. It’s a lot to build off of, and I know there are only six games left, but I don’t care.”
The Colonials resume conference play at home this Friday against St. Louis at 3 p.m.