Pacific Softball: Big Seventh Inning Rally Nets Pacific The Series Win Over Long Beach State
For Pacific, the series victory was their first over the 49ers since 2002 when Pacific posted a series sweep of Long Beach State on the road.
Seemingly on their way to another shutout defeat at the hands of 49er starter, Brooke Turner, the Tigers came together in their final at bat of the afternoon to finally figure out Turner and break through on the scoreboard. Up until the seventh, the Tigers had posted just two hits in the contest and threatened just once when they put a runner on second in the top of the fourth inning only to strand the runner and come up empty.
However, the seventh inning would change the Tigers fortunes as they were able to lace five hits in the inning off of Turner to score four runs. With the heart of their order stepping to the plate, Pacific began the late inning rally with back-to-back singles by senior Karie Wilson (Glendale, Ariz.) and freshman Nikki Armagost (Andover, Kan.). the single by Wilson to start the inning was her second of the game as she finished 2-for-4 on the afternoon.
With two aboard and one out in the inning, freshman Megan Allen (Yucaipa, Calif.) put the first crack in the armor of Turner with the Tigers third single of the inning, lining a shot into center field which brought home sophomore Robin Nelson (Morgan Hill, Calif.), who had entered the game to run for Wilson earlier in the inning. With one across and two still aboard, Pacific loaded the bases for the first time in the inning when sophomore Alexa Rivera (Sacramento, Calif.) worked a walk after on the ninth pitch of her at bat.
Rejuvenated with a chance to pick up the win, Armagost went back out to the circle to try to finish off what she had begun six innings prior. Despite the sudden momentum switch, the 49ers did not make it easy on Armagost in the bottom of the seventh inning when they attempted to rally back by loading the bases with just one out. Despite the trouble, Armagost pitched her way out of the jam by inducing a pop up behind the plate to Moore before finishing the game with a ground ball she took herself up the middle to record the final out of the game.
Prior to the final inning and with the Tigers offense struggling, Armagost was left to fend for herself in the circle as she attempted to pick up her second win in as many games against Long Beach State. Just like the day before, Armagost held the 49ers to just two runs. After seeing Armagost in the previous game, the 49ers were able to lock in at the plate to the tune of 10 total hits in the contest while scoring one run in the third and another in the fourth. The big hits of the afternoon came from Jennifer Madigan and Caitrin DeBaun who each picked up RBI singles for the 49ers.
In all, Armagost struck out one and walked five in seven full innings of work to improve to 7-4 on the year and 2-2 in the conference. On the other side, Turner struck out five and walked two while giving up seven hits and four runs as she fell to 9-7 on the year and 1-1 in the Big West.
"I think it is just a great come back win that shows the resilience of the team," stated Head Coach Brian Kolze.. "We have a lot of fight and have done some great things this year so.to come back and put the ball in play good things can happen.. We are very fortunate that the team believes in itself and continued to fight until the end."
"It felt good to win the first series and I have a felling we are going to take off from here," said Hendrickson.
The Tigers will be back in action on Wednesday, April 8 when they host San Jose State in a single game at Bill Simoni Field at 3:00 pm. The game is a make-up for the two teams after their initial contest was rained out on February 21. Pacific will get back into conference action on Saturday, April 10 when the Aggies of UC Davis come to Bill Simoni Field for a double-header.