March 12, 2008
WASHINGTON, DC - The George Washington University softball team opens an eight-game road trip and Atlantic 10 play Thursday, March 13 against La Salle in a 2:00 pm doubleheader. The teams will meet on the campus of Temple University and the Colonials will serve as the home team despite the venue. The Explorers swept GW in two games last season and own a 5-3 series lead coming into Thursday's twinbill. GW will look to go 2-0 in the Atlantic 10 for the first time in its history.
The Colonials enter conference play with a 4-7 record, its third best position going into conference play. Senior Jackie Yaniga leads the team with a .424 average, and is tied for the team lead in hits with fellow senior leadoff hitter, Chrysanthi Halkiotis with 14. Yaniga is also tied for second on the club with seven RBIs and three stolen bases in three attempts. Halkiotis is doing just what is expected of any leadoff hitter, batting .389, which is third on GW, and recording a team best five doubles and .476 on-base percentage. Sophomores Elisa Van Kirk and Amanda Gabriel lead the team with three home runs apiece, while Van Kirk also leads the team with 10 RBIs and a .630 slugging percentage. Gabriel leads the team with 10 runs scored, is second with a .625 slugging percentage, and is the ace of the pitching staff. Gabriel is currently 3-4 with a 2.75 ERA with complete games. The native of Fullerton, CA, also has struck out 45 batters in 40.2 innings of work, and is in the process of breaking every GW career pitching mark in just her second year in the buff and blue. Junior Carrie Higdon leads the staff with a 1.91 ERA in five appearances, all in relief. Higdon is also leading the team in stolen bases, going a perfect 6-6 in attempted steals.
The 3-9 Explorers are led offensively by senior Michelle Sullivan and sophomores Mary Pat Conville and Angelina Bisbiglia. Combined, these three accounted for half of La Salle's home runs last season, and nearly half of the team's 103 RBI. Sophomore transfer Gina Massaro is also potent with the bat, and also will be used in the circle for the Explorers. La Salle is coming off a split of a doubleheader at Delaware Wednesday, but prior to that, they traveled to Tucson, AZ, to compete at the Wildcat Invitational, hosted by the defending national champion, Arizona Wildcats. The Explorers went 1-3, impressively taking a game over Creighton. Massaro earned the win over the Blue Jays with a complete game, allowing just two runs and striking out four. Conville went 2-4 with a double and Sullivan drove in two in the victory. Massaro and Bisbiglia collected two hits, while Conville and Sullivan recorded one in a loss to the Wildcats. In its second game with Creighton, Conville collected the only hit, before the Explorers were no-hit by the defending champs in its final game. Also in the circle for La Salle will be sophomore Laura Beth McCreesh, who was second on the team in 2007 in wins with five.
Following the matchup with the Explorers, GW will travel to St. Louis, MO for a doubleheader with the Billikens Saturday, March 22 at 2:00 pm. The Colonials will return to the DC area for a twinbill at Georgetown on Wednesday, March 26, and then at St. Bonaventure on Saturday, March 29.
GW will be back in action at the Mount Vernon Softball Field on Friday and Saturday, April 4-5, when they take on defending A-10 champion, Massachusetts.