Pacific Softball: Tigers' Offense Rolls, But Settles For Split With Saint Mary's
Playing a pair of make up games against Saint Mary's, the Pacific softball team had to settle for a split of the day's games on Tuesday, April 13. The Tigers' cruised to victory in game one, 4-0, and appeared to be on their way to an easy win in game two before suffering a letdown that allowed the Gaels to take game two, 7-6, in eight innings. The split moved the Tigers' record to 17-21 overall while the Gaels improved to 16-15.
After having their original contests rained out over a month prior, the Tigers and the Gaels met at Bill Simoni Field to play out the double header. Continuing their home stand, the Tigers got going early against Saint Mary's, tagging the Gaels with a pair of big home runs in the first three innings to take an early 3-0 lead in the opening game.
After a quiet first, freshman Nikki Armagost (Andover, Kan.) made the first fireworks of the afternoon in the top of the second inning when she turned on the first pitch of her at bat, sending the pitch sailing over the right field fence for the solo home run. The home run was the third of the season for the young utility player and would later prove to be all the runs support she would need to put down the Gaels.
However, in the third, the Tigers tacked on additional support of their freshman pitcher when senior Karie Wilson (Glendale, Ariz.) followed in Armagost's footsteps, blasting a first pitch mistake over the left-center field fence for a two-run home run. The home run was her fourth of the season and was partially made possible by freshman Megan Hom (Irvine, Calif.), who had reached base on single up the middle to put a runner on in front of the home run.
Three innings later in the sixth, Pacific posted one more insurance run in support of Armagost as the Tigers turned a one-out double by sophomore Alexa Rivera (Sacramento, Calif.) into the run. Rivera scored the fourth run of the game three batters later on a single by junior Lindsey Pierce (Camarillo, Calif.).
Given four runs by the offense, Armagost made them all count in the circle as she held the Gaels to just five scattered hits throughout the opening contest. Three times throughout the contest the Gaels were able to put a runner on second against Armagost, but all three times were denied in their scoring efforts, twice by strike outs in the second and fourth innings. In seven innings of work, Armagost struck out six and walked one to pick up her 10th win and third complete game shutout of the season.
Having picked up the first game win, the Tigers came out blazing in the second game, hammering Saint Mary's for six first inning runs as they set themselves up for the afternoon sweep. In the inning, Pacific sent 11 batter to the plate with Pierce actually picking up two hits in the inning as she posted a single and a double in her two at bats.
In the inning, the first damage was done by Rivera when she singled down the left field line to plate the first run of the inning after the Tigers loaded the bases without an out to start. After the second out of the inning was recorded, freshman Megan Allen(Yucaipa, Calif.) made good use of her only hit of the afternoon when she belted a 3-2 pitch to dead center for her second grand slam of the season. The home run also was her team-leading fifth round-tripper of the year.
With five runs already across, the Tigers began another rally short rally on a single by freshman Amy Moore (Valencia, Calif.) who would later come around to score the sixth and final run of the inning on the double by Pierce.
Spotted six runs, junior Shaina Brock (Derby, Kan.) was unable to hold on to the lead in the circle as her day began to go down hill immediately in the second inning. In the inning, Brock issued a pair of free passes to the Gael lineup that would come back to haunt her when Amelia McIntosh lifted her first home run and just her third hit of the year over the right field fence to cut Pacific's lead in half at 6-3.
In the third, the Gaels picked up a fourth run after beginning the inning with back-to-back singles as the top of the order. They would tie the game at 6-6 in the fifth on three straight hits in the heart of their order capped by a two-RBI double by Jenna Smith. Three innings later and in the first extra frame, the Gaels completed their come-back efforts against the Tigers when McIntosh struck again with a two-out RBI double off the center field fence to bring home the seventh and game-winning run.
Unfortunately for Armagost, the freshman went into the books as the losing pitcher in the second contest as she entered the game in relief of Brock in the sixth inning with the game tied at six. In relief, Armagost gave up just two hits, back-to-back doubles in the eighth, and one run to fall to 10-5 on the year. She struck out four and walked none in three innings of relief to bring her afternoon total to 10 strike outs.
Despite giving up six runs in the first and 12 hits throughout the game, Britany Linton picked up the win for the Gaels to move to 9-8 on the season. In eight innings, Linton struck out two and walked one.
Offensively, Rivera led the way for the Tigers with five hits in seven at bats. She added an RBI and scored a pair of runs. Pierce finished 4-for-9 on the day and had a pair of RBI while Allen led the way with four RBI.
Pacific restarts Big West Conference action on Saturday, April 17, when Cal State Northridge comes to Bill Simoni Field to start a three-game series. The first day double-header will begin at 12:00 pm.