Softball wins non-conference finale at Georgetown

Sophomore Morgan Rinehart hits the ball in a game against Fordham earlier this season. Rinehart was one of seven Colonials with an RBI in GW's 13–11 victory at Georgetown Wednesday night. Hatchet File Photo by Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor
Sophomore Morgan Rinehart hits the ball in a game against Fordham earlier this season. Rinehart was one of seven Colonials with an RBI in GW’s 13–11 victory at Georgetown Wednesday night. Hatchet File Photo by Dan Rich | Contributing Photo Editor

GW had led by as much as six runs in its non-conference finale with Georgetown Wednesday night. However, after some late-game struggles on the mound, softball found itself tied 10–10 heading into the final frame.

But head coach Stacey Schramm was never nervous. Her team had been hitting the ball all night long.

Freshman left fielder Riley Tejcek, starting in place of junior Monica Macchiarulo, out with an injury, led off the top of the seventh with a triple.

Her powerful blast to right field, Tejcek’s career-high fourth hit of the game, sparked a four-hit, three-run inning that clinched a 13–11 road win over the Hoyas.

GW (21-20, 8-6 A-10) also put up a season-high 17 hits while matching its season-high runs total (13) in the two-run decision, which handed the team its third straight victory as it gears up for the final leg of Atlantic 10 play.

“With a cross-town rivalry like that, people want to show up and play, so for us to come out and hit the way we did–we just had a blast tonight,” Schramm said. “It really kind of gives us momentum heading into this weekend, knowing we can score runs and even let some runs up but that we can still overcome.”

The visitor’s bats were red-hot out of the gate. The Colonials jumped to a 4–0 lead in the top of the first as sophomore Alana Anderson, seniors Morgan Matetic and Carlee Gray, and Tejcek all batted in runs.

Freshman starting pitcher Jayme Cone (2-6), making her 11th start this year, let up two runs in the bottom half of the inning, but the Colonials’ offense responded in a big way.

A lead-off double from sophomore Rochelle Draper and a single from junior Megan Linn, the team’s leading-hitter on the season, got the second inning started. Junior Paige Kovalsky followed with her third home run of the year to put GW up 7–2.

“I thought it was going to be over early,” Schramm said. “[The early lead] was huge. It reassured the team that if [Georgetown] scored some runs, so what? We scored seven in two innings. In the past my team would probably press a little bit tied up going into the seventh inning, but it was just so loose and that had a lot to do with it, just being able to manufacture runs so easily.”

Tejcek continued to impress at the plate in the top of the third. The rookie connected for her first career homer, pounding the ball deep to left center on a solo shot that put her team ahead by a commanding six runs less than halfway through the contest.

Tejcek ended the day as GW’s top hitter, going 4-4 with two runs and tying Kovalsky with a team-high three RBIs.

“We had a player go down, Monica [Macchiarulo], so Riley [Tejcek] is stepping in and filling her shoes, and [today] she killed it,” Schramm said. “So it might be a blessing in disguise for her to able to showcase what she can do. I’m so happy for her. She’s been working so hard.”

Despite two scoreless innings from Cone in the second and third, the first-year pitcher lost her edge in the bottom of the fourth. Off four hits in the frame, the Hoyas (8-30) climbed back into it with a big-time five-run inning. Kovalsky (7-6) came in to relieve Cone, who finished her outing after just 3.2 innings pitched, giving up eight hits, six earned runs and four walks.

Tejcek and Linn picked RBIs behind two GW hits in the fifth to regain a 10–7 lead.

Kovalsky threw a scoreless fifth, but let Georgetown back in the game once more in the sixth conceding three runs on four hits but escaped with two runners left on base with the score knotted at 10.

Aided by three GW runs in the seventh, brought in by Linn, sophomore Morgan Rinehart and Anderson, Kovalsky closed out the contest, allowing just one run to thwart Georgetown’s hopes at a comeback.

In 3.1 innings of action, Kovalsky picked up the win, allowing four earned runs on six hits.

“[Kovalsky] is just such an all-around asset for us as a team,” Schramm said. “I love her at third base, and she’s a great hitter, but to be able to switch gears and come in and shut a team down like that is just phenomenal. That’s what my team is all about. Whatever they need to do to pick their teammate up is what they do.”

With the win, the Colonials move above .500 with an overall 21-20 record. GW returns home Saturday to kick off a three-game series with conference foe Massachusetts.

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