TOWSON, Md. – The Towson University softball team lost a pair of 4-3 decisions to Villanova University on Tuesday afternoon in a non-conference doubleheader. Villanova (25-9) took an early lead in game one to earn a 4-3 victory. The Tigers (15-19) pulled to within one late, before falling 4-3 in game two.
In game one the Wildcats jumped out to an early 2-0 lead as Kristi Burlin blasted a two-run home run. Villanova added to its lead in the fifth as Burlin had an RBI single to left field.
The Tigers got on the board in the bottom of the fifth. With one out, junior catcher Jillian Donnelly had an RBI single to score pinch-runner Stef Polonia. Later in the frame, senior pinch hitter Courtney Wittnerdelivered an RBI groundout.
It remained a 3-2 game in favor of the visitors until the top of the seventh. Villanova added a run as Tessa Braga reached on an error to lead off the inning and eventually came around to score with two outs.
The Tigers cut their deficit to 4-3 in the bottom half of the inning as junior leftfielder Kelli Lyons hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score senior second baseman Haley Stueckler. However, the Wildcats were able to get the final out and hold on for the 4-3 win.
Caitlyn Delahaba earned her 13th win of the season for Villanova after giving up three runs on five hits in a complete game performance. Junior Katie Lingmai took the loss, after allowing four runs on nine hits in the game.
Burlin led the Wildcats in the game with three hits and four RBI’s. Donnelly had a pair of hits and an RBI for the Tigers.
In the nightcap, the Tigers struck first as senior right rightfielder Brianna Jones doubled home senior centerfielder Erika Stasch.
The Tigers maintained the 1-0 advantage through the first four innings as freshman Missy McCormick held the Wildcats without a hit during that stretch.
Villanova took the lead in the top of the fifth. The Wildcats used four hits and three Tiger errors to score four runs in the inning.
The Tigers made a valiant attempt at a comeback in the bottom of the seventh. With two one and one out, Stasch doubled to left center and drove in a run to make it a 4-2 game. Jones followed Stasch with a sacrifice fly to left field making it a 4-3 game.
With Stasch on third base and senior first baseman Andrea Stevenson at the plate, the Tigers looked like they had tied the game Stevenson singled down the left field line. After initially ruling the hit a fair ball, the home plate umpire consulted with the umpire on the bases. He reversed his call and sent Stevenson back to the plate. Moments later, she walked, but Villanova pitcher Molly Manning was able to get freshman designated player Macie McGeehan to fly out to end the game.
Manning earned the win for Villanova after giving up three runs on 10 hits in the complete game performance. McCormick finished the day by giving up four runs, two of which were earned on four hits.
Ali Lowe was one of four Villanova players with a hit and she also scored a run and had an RBI. Stevenson and Wittner each had a pair of hits to lead the Tigers.
The Tigers return to action when Colonial Athletic Association play resumes on Friday, Apr. 6. The Tigers will play a doubleheader at Drexel with game one set to start at 1 p.m.
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