Softball Hosts George Mason in Home Finale on Wednesday
April 24, 2012
WASHINGTON - The George Washington softball team takes its final break from conference play to host local rival George Mason on Wednesday at 3 p.m. in the season's final game at GW Softball Field on the Mount Vernon Campus.
GW (18-27) looks to close out its nine-game homestand on a strong note after winning five of the first eight games. The Colonials are coming off a doubleheader split with Atlantic 10 rival Dayton on Saturday. Junior Tara Fogarty hit two home runs in a 6-5 loss in Game 1, and senior Heidi Penna tossed a three-hit shutout in a 4-0 victory in the nightcap.
The Colonials have won nine of their last 13 games overall since an April 5 victory at Temple. Senior Lauren Wilson has reached base in all 13 games in that span, posting a .382 average and a .571 on-base percentage with four home runs, 16 RBIs and 15 runs scored. Fogarty and freshman Victoria Valos are also hitting better than .350 with multiple home runs and at least 10 RBIs in that time.
Valos is batting a team-best .319 on the year with eight home runs and 25 RBIs, while Wilson follows closely at .318 and leads the team with nine homers, 35 runs scored, 33 walks and 20 stolen bases. Wilson already broke her own program record for walks in a season, and she is just one home run shy of Jackie Yaniga's school mark of 10 set in 2005.
As a team, GW is tied for second in the Atlantic 10 with 34 home runs on the year, the most since hitting 38 in 2007. The Colonials also rank second in the league with 65 stolen bases.
Penna was named A-10 Pitcher of the Week on Monday after going 2-0 and allowing just one run in 14.2 innings of work for a 0.48 ERA in victories over conference rivals La Salle and Dayton. She surrendered just 10 hits and walked four while striking out 17 and holding batters to a .185 average. She boasts a 1.02 ERA in 27.1 innings pitched over her last six appearances.
George Mason (10-36) was swept at Towson last weekend and has lost 12 in a row dating back to April 4. Freshman Brooke Blankenship leads the Patriots in most offensive categories, including batting average (.347), doubles (10), home runs (5) and RBIs (27).
GW is 6-10 all-time against George Mason, and the teams have split a pair of games already this season. The Patriots won a 5-4 decision at the 2012 season-opening Kickin' Chicken Classic at Coastal Carolina on Feb. 10, but the Colonials won the rematch, 7-5, in Fairfax, Va., just two weeks ago. Wilson combined to go 2-for-7 with a home run and five RBIs in those two contests, while senior Amanda Zakeri is 3-for-3 with three steals against Mason this season.
Following Wednesday's contest, the Colonials will embark on a four-game road trip to end the regular season, as they travel to A-10 rivals St. Bonaventure (April 28) and Saint Louis (May 5) with hopes of clinching their first Atlantic 10 Championship berth since 2007 and just the second in program history. The top six teams qualify for the A-10 Championship, which will take place May 9-12 in St. Louis, Mo. GW currently sits in fifth place in the league standings with an 8-8 conference mark.