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'Cats Fall to Arizona in Opening Game of NCAA Regional

'Cats Fall to Arizona in Opening Game of NCAA Regional


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. Villanova softball opened the 2024 NCAA Tournament Friday afternoon, falling to No. 17 Arizona 14-3 in five innings in the first game of the Fayetteville Regional.

Ava Franz reached base twice with a single, a walk and an RBI for Villanova (31-23) as Brooklyn Ostrowski made a total of a walk and a sacrifice fly that day. Ally Jones And Lilly St Jean every scored hits in the game withChloe Smith drive home the other run.

Alyssa Seidler threw two outs as Villanova's starting pitcher Cat Gallant hit two-plus innings of relief in the circle, facing 14 batters. Caroline Pellicano provided cleaning service and took out one in her collection of work.

VU couldn't get anyone on the basepaths despite three hard-hit balls in the opening frame, then Arizona struck before recording outs with a walk, a bunt single and an RBI single.

A few more bases wide brought in another run, followed by a sacrifice fly, and two hits led to three more. A subsequent two-run homer gave the home team an 8-0 lead after one game.

Franz became the first Villanova Wildcat to reach base with an infield single in the second inning, but that's all that happened. The Arizona lead expanded with just one pitch in response, hitting a solo homer to open the inning before Gallant induced a trio of popouts to keep the score at 9-0.

Ostrowski came on board in the third with a hit by pitch, before being replaced at first base by one Victoria Sebastian fielder's choice, but a flyout and strikeout kept the deficit at nine.

The patient at-bats for Villanova finally paid off in the fourth with St. Jean and Kelsey White a walk, coupled with a Jones single up the middle to load the bases. A 10-pitch Franz base on balls allowed the 'Cats to get on the board before Smith grounded out for another count and Ostrowski recorded a sacrifice fly for a 9-3 ball game.

The other Wildcats immediately struck back with bags of their own before a trio of singles made it 14-3.

Elaina Wagner smoked one at third base that ricocheted off a glove for a runner before St. Jean blasted a single into center field for two on board. But a bad luck double play ended the inning and the game became a Villanova loss.

NEXT ONE: The Wildcats will participate in an elimination game on Saturday, taking on the loser of tonight's Arkansas-Southeast Missouri State game at 5:30 PM ET.




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