GW Softball Secures A-10 Championship Bid with Split at Saint Louis
May 5, 2012
ST. LOUIS - The George Washington softball team cemented its first Atlantic 10 Championship bid since 2007 with a 2-0 victory over league rival Saint Louis in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader at the Billiken Sports Center. The Colonials then dropped the nightcap, 2-1, in the regular-season finale.
GW moves to 22-28 on the season and 11-9 in A-10 play. The 22 overall wins are the third-most in program history, while the 11 conference victories are a school record. The Colonials will return to St. Louis next week for just their second tournament berth ever at the six-team Atlantic 10 Championship from May 9-12.
In Game One, senior Kara Clauss tossed a four-hit complete game shutout, her sixth of the season. She struck out two and did not walk a batter. Clauss improves to 13-17 on the year, matching Amanda Gabriel's program record for wins in a season.
Clauss and Saint Louis starter Julian Austin matched each other pitch for pitch through five innings, but GW finally cracked the scoreboard in the sixth, aided by an error that allowed the leadoff batter, freshman Samantha Dos Santos, to reach base. Senior Amanda Zakeri then beat out a bunt single and senior Lauren Wilson was hit by a pitch to load the bases for junior Julie Orlandi, whose infield single plated Dos Santos with the first run of the game.
The Colonials added an insurance run in the seventh, when junior Sandi Moynihan hit a one-out double and eventually scored on a squeeze bunt by Dos Santos.
Austin (6-12) suffered the tough-luck loss, as she was charged with one earned run one five hits in seven innings. Austin walked one and struck out four.
The Billikens (23-33, 9-11 A-10) struck first in game two, using two hits and a GW error to take a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
The Colonials responded in the top of the second when junior Autumn Taylor stole home after she led off the inning with an infield single. But Saint Louis went back on top an inning later on a bases loaded walk. The Billikens threatened for more, but GW senior Heidi Penna induced a groundout to end the inning.
Penna allowed just one hit over the final three innings, but the Colonials were not able to tie it up, despite having two runners on in both the fourth and seventh.
Penna (5-2) allowed two runs on four hits and four walks in the complete game loss. Saint Louis starter Hannah Huebbe (11-14) gave up one run on four hits and struck out five to earn the victory, while Kelcie Matesa allowed just one hit in the final three innings to pick up her fourth save of the season.
Taylor paced the Colonials at the plate, going 3-for-6 with two steals on the day.
As several A-10 teams wrap up regular-season play on Sunday, GW will learn its seeding and first-round opponent for the 2012 Atlantic 10 Championship following the conclusion of Sunday's games.