GW Softball Falls to Top-Seeded UMass, 5-2, in Atlantic 10 Championship
May 10, 2012
ST. LOUIS - Freshman Victoria Valos hit a two-run home run, but the fourth-seeded George Washington softball team could not overcome A-10 Player and Pitcher of the Year Sara Plourde, falling to top-seeded Massachusetts, 5-2, on the second day of the Atlantic 10 Championship at Saint Louis University's Billikens Sports Center.
GW (23-29) will now face No. 6 seed Saint Joseph's on Friday at 4:30 p.m. ET in an elimination game. The winner will advance to face the loser of Friday's UMass/Fordham contest for a chance to play in Saturday's championship.
Plourde, who leads the nation in strikeouts, fanned 18 Colonial batters in the game while allowing just two hits and also went 2-for-2 with a pair of RBIs at the plate, driving in the Minutewomen's first two runs.
UMass took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Plourde's popup to left-center fell between three GW fielders with two outs.
The Colonials took a brief lead in the top of the third on a mammoth two-out two-run home run by Valos, her ninth of the season, following a walk by junior Julie Orlandi. It was the first GW hit off Plourde in 14.2 innings this year, as she no-hit the Colonials twice during the regular season. GW continued to rally with two down as Plourde struggled with her command, walking two and hitting a batter to load the bases, but the Colonials could not plate another run.
The Minutewomen responded in the bottom of the inning, scoring an unearned run on a double by Plourde to tie the game, then tallied twice in the fourth and once in the fifth to take a 5-2 lead.
Plourde, meanwhile, settled down in the circle, allowing just three base runners the rest of the way, including a one-out double by senior Lauren Wilson in the top of the seventh, but she was stranded at third base when the final two batters struck out to end the game.
Wilson was on base in three of her four trips to the plate, as she was hit by a pitch twice in addition to her seventh-inning double. She also stole two bases, her 23rd and 24th of the season, tying senior Amanda Zakeri for the team lead and school record.
Despite walking five and hitting three batters, Plourde improved to 34-9 on the season. Senior Kara Clauss (14-18) took the loss in relief after allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits in two innings of work. Senior Heidi Penna started and finished the game, pitching the first two and last two innings, and was charged with two runs on four hits and three walks.