Pacific Softball: Errors Prove To Be The Difference As Pacific Falls 6-3 In Eight Innings To Sacramento State
The first inning started out rocky for the Tigers' sophomore hurler, Gabby McDaniel (Sacramento, Calif.), as she opened the game by hitting the first batter she faced with the first pitch that she threw. With the first batter on base the Hornets worked their way into a bases loaded scoring opportunity, using two infield hits to load the bases with only one out. Despite the early trouble, McDaniel was able to work her way out of the trouble unscathed.
In the second, however, McDaniel would not be so lucky as a free pass issued to Nicole Frayn would come back to bite her as the Hornets took advantage of a pair of Pacific miscues in the field to score an unearned run in the inning. After reaching base via the walk, Frayn moved to second on a well-executed sacrifice bunt to set up the scoring situation. She advanced to third on a passed ball before finally scoring on an infield error that rolled all the way to the outfield fence.
The Hornets would tack on a second run in the top of the fourth inning after Marissa Navarro led the inning off with a bloop double down the right field line. She would come into score two batters later on a sharp single up the middle by Frayn. The Hornets would not score again until the extra frame when they once again took advantage of a walk and defensive mistake by Pacific's defense to score the go-ahead run. Sacramento State would put the Tigers away with three more runs in the eighth including a two-run home run off the bat of Alyssa Nakken.
Offensively, the Tigers broke out of their hitless streak to start the season, snapping an eight inning hitless drought with a single through the left side by senior Kellee Wilson (Tracy, Calif.) in the bottom of the second inning. The hit was the spark Pacific needed to get on track offensively as they added a second hit by junior Lindsey Pierce (Camarillo, Calif.) in the third and finally broke through on the scoreboard in the bottom of the sixth.
Again, Wilson picked up another first for the Tigers in 2010 as she drove in the first run of the game for the Tigers on a single into center which drove in Pierce. The hit was the fourth consecutive single by Pacific after Pierce got the inning rolling for the Tigers with her second hit of the evening with an infield single to third shortly followed by another infield single by freshman Megan Hom (Irvine, Calif.). The duo would move into scoring position on a bloop hit into right by junior Nicole Matson (Castaic, Calif.) which loaded the bases for Wilson.
After scoring their first run of the season, the Tigers quickly added the tying run on the next at bat when Hom essentially stole home by alertly tagging up on a foul pop up down the third base line that was caught on a dive by the Hornets' shortstop.
In the eighth, the Tigers tried to rally in the eighth off of one-out Matson double, but they could not muster enough offense to overcome the four runs given up in the first half of the inning.
McDaniel picked up the loss to drop to 0-1 on the year despite giving up just one earned run in the game. She finished the contest with five runs and seven hits against while striking out three and walking two in 7.2 innings. Brock, the Tiger starter earlier in the day against Fresno State, gave up one hit and one unearned run as she accounted for half of the run from the two-run home run.
The Hornets' Shelby Voelz picked up the win in relief of starter Jacquelyn Serrano who was run from the game in the sixth inning. In relief, Volez gave up just two hits and one run in 2.2 innings pitched.
The Tigers will take on No. 24 Fresno State at 12:00 pm on Sunday, February 14, followed by another match-up with Sacramento State at 4:00 pm at Bulldog Stadium.