Pacific Softball: Armagost Picks Up Her Second Save Of The Year As Pacific Takes The Series From UC Riverside
Looking for the series victory over the Highlanders, the Pacific softball team picked up an impressive and hard fought win, 6-4, on Sunday, April 25. The win moved the Tigers to 19-25 overall and 5-6 in the Big West while UC Riverside fell to 22-23 overall and 7-5 in the conference.
As they had done all weekend long, the Tigers got out in front of the Highlanders in the first inning of play as they notched one run in their opening trip to the plate. Junior Lindsey Pierce (Camarillo, Calif.), Pacific's top hitter throughout the season, started the inning off with a flair down the right field line for an opening single. However, on the play, the Highlanders' right fielder misplayed the ball allowing it to get by her all the way to the fence. The mistake was enough for the speedy Pierce to move all the way to third, setting up the Tigers with a runner 60 feet away from scoring with no outs in the inning. The mistake would quickly be compounded when freshman Megan Hom (Irvine, Calif.) slapped a shot down the line as well that was misplayed by the Highlander first baseman, an error which scored Pierce for the lone run of the inning.
After being gifted a pair of runs, the Tigers gave back the present in the bottom of the inning with a pair of errors of their own which led to the Highlanders' tying the game.
The poor defensive play was not over for the Highlanders as they again struggled in the field two innings later allowing the Tigers to break open the contest. In their third trip to the plate, the Tigers used clutch hitting and a pair of dropped line shots by the Highlander left fielder to plate five runs and take a strangle hold on the game. After a leadoff walk to Pierce started the inning, the Tigers got their first hit of the game from senior Karie Wilson (Glendale, Ariz.) after a sacrifice by Hom had advanced Pierce to second.
Following Wilson's single, freshman Nikki Armagost (Andover, Kan.) was hit by a pitch, the first of two in the game for Armagost, giving the Tigers a pair of runners on. With the two aboard, the mistakes flared in the field as the Tigers hit three line drives into left field, only one resulted in a catch and an out while the other two skipped away allowing the Tigers to plate four runs in the process. With freshman Megan Allen (Yucaipa, Calif.) on second after the second error, freshman Amy Moore(Valencia, Calif.) singled up the middle to plate the fifth and final run of the inning and the game for the Tigers.
Up 6-1, junior Shaina Brock (Derby, Kan.) went to work, pitching her way out of jams throughout the day to record her second win of the weekend and sixth win of the season. Brock allowed the Highlanders to close back closer into the game, but never gave up the lead. In the third, the Highlanders scored a single run to cut the lead to 6-2 and grabbed two more in the sixth to make a game of it as they made use of a third Tiger error to score one of their two runs.
With Brock searching for her second win, the Tigers did make use of Armagost in the circle to finish the game as the freshman hurler came into the contest in the bottom of the seventh inning with two runners on and no outs with a chance to pick up the save. After throwing 228 pitches the day before, Armagost picked up the first two outs of the inning before walking the Highlanders' leadoff hitter to load the bases. Needing one out for the win, Armagost struck out the next batter she faced looking to send the Tigers on their way home with the series victory.
In the circle, Brock gave up nine hits and four runs, three earned, while striking out three, walking four and hitting one more. For Armagost, in one inning she struck out one and walked one for the three out save.
Marissa Alvidrez suffered her second loss of the weekend for the Highlanders as she gave up four hits and six runs in four innings of work. Amy Lwin pitched three innings of scoreless and hitless relief for UC Riverside, entering the game in the fourth and exiting for Alvidrez in the seventh when Alvidrez reentered the game to hit.
The Tigers will be back at home on Wednesday, April 28 when they take on UC Davis in a make up game from their three game series started earlier in the month. The two teams split their doubleheader with each team picking up a 2-1 win. The game is scheduled for 3:30 pm.