Colonials Athletics Weekend Preview
May 4, 2012
The George Washington softball team wraps up the regular season with a doubleheader at Atlantic 10 rival Saint Louis on Saturday afternoon, with first pitch set for 1 p.m. ET.
With one win over the Billikens, GW (21-27, 10-8 A-10) can cement a spot in the six-team Atlantic 10 Championship, which takes place May 9-12 in St. Louis. The Colonials, who have not advanced to the conference tournament since 2007, are currently in fourth place in the league standings. GW has eclipsed the 20-win plateau for the first time since 2007, and its 10 conference victories are the most in the 10-year history of the program.
After last Saturday's 17-0 and 9-0 routs of St. Bonaventure, the Colonials have won four in a row and 12 of their last 16 games dating back to April 5. Juniors Tara Fogarty and reigning A-10 Player of the Week Autumn Taylor combined to go 10-for-15 with two doubles, a home run and seven RBIs, while seniors Kara Clauss and Heidi Penna each tossed complete game shutouts against the Bonnies.
Senior Lauren Wilson has reached base in all 16 games during GW's recent hot streak, posting a .400 average (18-for-45) and a .565 on-base percentage with four home runs, 21 RBIs, 19 runs scored and 13 stolen bases. Fogarty (.417) and junior Sandi Moynihan (.450) are also hitting better than .400 in that time. As a team, the Colonials are hitting .308 and scoring nearly six runs per game in that stretch.
Wilson and Taylor have each hit 10 home runs on the year, tying Jackie Yaniga's single-season program record set in 2005, while the Colonials have hit 38 round-trippers as a team, matching the school record set by the 2007 squad. In addition, GW ranks second in the A-10 with 70 stolen bases and 58 doubles, both the second-best totals in program history.
Saint Louis (22-32, 8-10 A-10) is coming off a doubleheader split with non-conference foe Southeast Missouri State on Tuesday and is currently in seventh place in the A-10 standings. Jessica Buschjost is batting a team-best .335 and leads the Billikens with 59 hits and 27 runs scored, while Lauren Bohning is tops with five home runs and 28 RBIs. Hanna Huebbe paces Saint Louis in the circle with 10 wins and 108 strikeouts, while Julian Austin has posted a team-best 3.08 ERA. The Billikens are batting just .228 as a team, but they lead the A-10 in steals (81) and sacrifice bunts (44).
GW is 4-9 all-time against Saint Louis, including a split of last season's series. Clauss tossed a five-hit shutout and struck out six in a 1-0 game two victory.
The George Washington baseball team (17-28, 3-12 A-10) returns to action with a visit to Philadelphia to face Saint Joseph's (19-24, 9-5 A-10) for a three-game series at the Maguire Campus Baseball Field. First pitch on Friday is scheduled for 3 p.m.
GW leads the all-time series against Saint Joseph's, 27-11. The teams last faced each other during the 2011 season, with the Colonials winning two out of three at Barcroft Park.
Senior Stephen Oswald was named the Colonials' Most Valuable Player at the annual Senior Honors Luncheon on May 1. The Richmond, Va., native leads the Colonials in several offensive categories including runs (25), hits (53), RBIs (28), doubles (11), walks (20), total bases (72) and games started (45). He is also hitting .305 with two home runs.
Over the last 10 games, senior catcher Jimmy Best is batting .448 with three doubles, two home runs and 12 RBIs while slugging .759.
Two GW pitchers rank among the A-10 leaders in earned-run average. Sophomore Aaron Weisberg sports a 2.88 ERA in 68.2 innings pitched, ranking ninth in the conference, while fanning a team-high 45 batters this season. Junior Kenny O'Brien, the Colonials top reliever out of the bullpen, ranks sixth in the conference with a 2.62 ERA. O'Brien has appeared in a team leading 16 games and has recorded four wins and four saves in 48 innings of work.
The Hawks boast the second best pitching staff in the conference with a team ERA of 3.63. Offensively, they are led by Kevin Kratochwill (.327), Stefan Kancylarz (.288, 23 RBIs) and Kevin Taylor (.261, three home runs, 24 RBIs).