Seton Hall softball fell to the Villanova Wildcats, 8-7, in the rubber match of a three-game series to open Big East play.
The bats began working early, especially for Villanova who started the top of the first with three runs. Nikki Alden had a two-run home run and immediately after, Natalia Segovia added a solo home run of her own to the same location.
Pirates fired back in the bottom half with an Alexis Walkden home run, however, Villanova put up a run in each of the next three innings to take a comfortable 6-1 lead.
The Pirates turned it around in the fifth inning, however, where a Valerie Suto single drove in the first of five runs of the inning to tie the game at six. Walkden had her second homerun of the game in that inning to tie the game with a three-run shot to center.
In the sixth inning, the Pirates were able to take the lead on a double steal where they took home plate. From there it appeared to be smooth sailing into the final inning for the home team, but back to back Villanova homers put them back ahead 8-7.
The Pirates were unable to come up with an answer and lost in heartbreaking fashion.
“Today was all about free-bees,” coach Paige Smith said after the game. “We gave up too many free bases, four-pitch walks, there’s never an excuse for that… Besides that, I think we saw a lot. Our team fights, we never say die, we have the ability to put up big numbers in short periods of time, and what we saw was a very quality and well coached Villanova team.”
Seton Hall will take a break from the Big East in their next game vs. Fordham on Tuesday in South Orange.
Keith Egan can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @Keith_egan10.