SJU softball takes the show on the road

The St. John’s softball team capped off another successful week by matching 2008’s 20-win total against Villanova
on Monday.

“To actually see it now on paper, how good we are doing, and most likely we are going to the Big East tournament, it’s a good feeling,” said senior shortstop Roxy Struble, who was named to the Big East Honor Roll last week for the fifth time this season.

The Red Storm offense has really come alive as of late, scoring 27 runs in their last six games, amassing a 4-2 record. Head coach Amy Kvilhaug accredits her team’s production to her student-athletes “becoming students of the game.”

After hosting four straight games and 12 of the last 14, the Johnnies started a five-game road trip in Philadelphia to face Big East-rival Villanova.

In the first game, the Red Storm bats struck in the third with a single by Struble that scored freshman Julia Sanchez.

Villanova countered at the bottom of the inning, tapping sophomore pitcher Linzee Sumrall for two runs. After adding two more runs in the fourth and halting a late Red Storm rally, the Wildcats hung on for the 4-2 win.

Despite matching Villanova with seven hits, St. John’s left 10 runners on base. Sumrall finished the game allowing only four runs, and striking out five.

Neither Kat Lawrence nor Villanova’s Molly Manning allowed a run until the sixth inning in the second game, when the Wildcats took a 1-0 lead after Lawrence allowed back-to-back doubles.

With runners on first and second in the seventh, Manning threw a wild pitch, allowing the runners to advance. With first base open, she intentionally walked Struble.

“I was just thinking, do what I know how to do,” said Struble of being at bat with the game on the line. “[I had to] Do anything I could to get on.”

Kacee Cox then doubled in Laura Guzman and Chelsea Durning for the deciding runs of the Red Storm’s 2-1 victory, earning Lawrence her 10th win of the year.

St. John’s hosted St. Peter’s last Thursday for a non-conference doubleheader. The offense carried the Red Storm to a sweep, outscoring the Peahens 9-6 in the first game, and winning 11-0 via the mercy rule in the second game.

Despite allowing 6 runs, Sumrall struck out 12 batters, while Lawrence pitched a one-hitter and struck out 10.

Cox and Struble each drove in four runs in the series, and Jenna Berger and Kristi Cady contributed three RBI of their own.

Syracuse came to town last Wednesday for a pair of Big East games. Sumrall pitched well, shutting down the Orange offense until the seventh inning, when an error in the outfield opened the door for three runs to cross the plate. But Cox and Stacia Dopudja each hit home runs and the Johnnies won 4-3.

Lawrence surrendered six runs before being pulled in the second game, and the Orange’s Jenna Caira cooled off the St. John’s bats, allowing one run on four hits en route to a 7-1 victory.