Villanova and South Dakota State hold through five innings, numerous delays before finally being held for the night just before 10 p.m.; Tie result in the sixth inning

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ORLANDO, Florida—What a day for the Villanova and South Dakota State softball teams. At the latest for both teams, from 10:30 p.m. on Saturday evening, the game will continue on Sunday morning at 10 a.m. with a 1-1 draw. When play resumes, the Wildcats get to batting in the top part of the sixth inning with junior catcher Ally Jones (Brielle, NJ) due. The winner of this game must play Michigan in a second straight elimination game. This next competition has a tentative start time of 11:30 am at the UCF Softball Complex. TV and other details will be confirmed on Sunday morning.

There is a saying that truth is stranger than fiction, and that theory may have been proven on a second marathon day of the Orlando Regional, a day when at 11:05 a.m. the first pitch of a game between regional host UCF and Michigan took place. and a day that only ended when common sense prevailed to allow Villanova and the state of South Dakota to return to their hotels just before 10 p.m. Saturday night.

The Wildcats and Jackrabbits endured 11 hours on the field in temperatures that felt like 100 degrees or higher for most of the afternoon. They prevailed in a more than four-hour winner’s bracket game between the Host Knights and the Wolverines that lasted 11 innings and pushed back the start of the weekend’s first elimination game by two and a half hours from 1:35 p.m. to 4 a.m. Villanova played just over three innings against South Dakota State before a weather delay that lasted well over three hours, and then was able to take the field a second time for just 26 minutes before nature once again halted proceedings.

Here’s a key takeaway of the day, which we promise will be no lightning detectors, heavy rain, or even long waits. Really good softball was played for five innings. Villanova took a 1-0 lead at the top of the first inning, South Dakota State tied 1-1 in the bottom of the second, and the Wildcats made several tough defensive plays that kept fans in suspense. Despite the adversity and unusual playing conditions, Villanova showed in late May that it was still playing championship softball.

With bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the first inning, senior shortstop Megan Kern (Royersford, Pa.) made a nice catch of a hardline drive to her right to end the inning with no runs scored. Next we go to the bottom of the fourth inning, again with two outs and this time with nobody for junior Chloe Smith (Sacramento, California) dove left to stop a hard one-hopper to third base and made a perfect throw to first to end the inning. By the end of the fifth inning it was graduate paige smoke (Windsor, New York) in right field and junior Daniel Dabroski (Cedar Grove, NJ) in left field, who played main defender roles.

South Dakota State had a runner in second and nobody in fifth when its number two, Emma Osmundson, hit a ball to left field. Dabroski circumnavigated the game with winds beginning to swirl around the outfield again, eventually tying the ball into her glove for the first out. Next was Rozelyn Carrillo, who hit a hard shot down right field where Rauch was still running as she made a reaching over-the-shoulder catch. The runner at second base tagged and appeared to leave second base well before catching the ball, but she was not called because she was doubled off second base or left base early.

That produced cleanup hitter and Jackrabbits home run leader Cylie Halvorson, who met freshman’s first bid Kelsey White (Taunton, Massachusetts) deep into left field, sending Dabroski into the mud of a rain-soaked warning lane and eventually to the base of the wall, where she reached up to make the catch. It was the third of the inning and the finale of the night.

Hours earlier, Villanova had tackled the breaks in the top of the first inning. graduate Angela Giampolo (East Windsor, New Jersey) The game started at exactly 4:00 p.m. and was hit by the very first throw by South Dakota starter Tori Kniesche. Shadows of a BIG EAST championship match that had started the same way about seven days earlier. It was the 33rdapprox times in her career that Giampolo has been hit by a pitch; The Wildcats’ all-time record is only one higher.

Rauch drew a six-pitch walk and Smith came up with two ons and nobody out to bat. Her dribble to third base was bobbed by Jackrabbits third baseman Cheyanne Masterson, who stayed in the game and marked third base for a force out just before Giampolo could slide in. Kern hit the second out, but White extended the inning with a five-pitch walk that stressed the bases. Rauch hit a wild pitch with Jones at the plate on the first run of the game. Jones worked an eight-pitch walk to load the bases a second time before Kniesche eventually escaped the inning. She had run six and batted nine while throwing 98 pitches through the first five innings played in Saturday’s boredom.

Villanova has just one strike of the game, a screaming double from Kern with an out in the top of the third, still smoldering the ball as it sped off the right midfield wall on a bounce. White went on eight pitches, but a liner from Jones in left field was caught on a line and Kniesche ended a scoreless inning with a strikeout.

With the Wildcats sequentially eliminated at the top of the fourth inning, four defensive changes were announced for the bottom half of the frame. White moved from right field to the circle and traded places with Rauch, who pitched the first three innings. Dabroski entered the game as a sophomore in left field Tess quotes (Horseheads, NY)while senior midfielder Sydney Hayes (Douglasville, Pa.) reentered after getting a pinch hit at the top of the inning. However, before the inning could begin, lightning was spotted within 8 miles (13 km) of the stadium at 5:19 p.m. and safety measures were taken to clear the field and stadium.

It was still partly sunny at this point in hopes that storms in the area might avoid the UCF campus, but conditions eventually worsened when a wind-driven thunderstorm drenched the field and surrounding area with torrential rain. The teams did not return to the field until around 20:00 to warm up. Play resumed at 8:35 p.m., and White finally threw her first throw of the night. The next interruption occurred 26 minutes later at 21:01 with renewed lightning nearby. The idea of ​​resuming play was finally scrapped just after 9:30 a.m. when a tornado warning was issued for the immediate area.

This hasn’t changed the situation for Villanova. The winner between the Wildcats and South Dakota State will play next against Michigan, who lost a more than four-hour heartbreaker to UCF in 11 innings earlier Saturday. The host Knights scored single runs in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings of that contest to extend the game, leveling the score 2-2 while falling behind until their final bat in the seventh inning.

The next game between Michigan and the VU-SDSU winner is expected to start at 11:30 a.m. Sunday morning. This is also an elimination game where the winner advances to the regional finals to face UCF. The hosts are the weekend’s only undefeated team after beating the Wildcats (6-0) on Friday afternoon before overtaking the Wolverines on Saturday.

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