Pacific Softball: Hendrickson's Two-Run Triple All Pacific Needs To Take Out Indiana
Junior Shaina Brock (Derby, Kan.) allowed just two-hits in a complete seven innings of work to pick up her third win of the year. For Brock, her only nemesis in the Hoosier lineup proved to be their leadoff hitter, Breanna Saucedo, who picked up both hits on the day against the junior in the circle. Between Saucedo's single in the first and again in the sixth, Brock faced just two extra batters then necessary as she issued a single walk in both the second and third inning.
With their starter running through the Indiana lineup, the Tiger offense was put to the task of finding just one run in support to pick up the victory. Through four innings, that task proved to be difficult as Brock's counterpart in the circle, Sara Olson held the Pacific offense hitless while allowing just two base runners via a walk and an error despite the Tigers' putting the barrel of the bat on the ball throughout their order. However, Olson's luck would change in the top of the fifth all starting with a one-out walk to freshman Amy Moore (Valencia, Calif.) and Olson's second trip through the bottom of Pacific's order.
"Our hitters did a great job adjusting the second time through the lineup, adjusting to (Olson's) movement and offspeed pitches," said Head Coach Brian Kolze.
The one-out walk would become runners at first and second for the Tigers after sophomore Alexa Rivera (Sacramento, Calif.) laced a single into center field on the first pitch she saw in her at bat. After switching runners at second on a fielder's choice that recorded the second out of the inning, Pacific again looked towards one of its seniors, as they have done over the last six games, to come up big when needed most. The calling did not fall on deaf ears for senior Brittany Hendrickson (San Jose, Calif.) who fought back from a 1-2 hole to drive in the game's winning runs with a two-out, two-strike triple to left field. The triple was just the second three-bagger of Hendrickson's career and first since her sophomore season.
After picking up a two-run lead, Brock finished off her two-hit shutout by facing just 10 batters over the final three innings, inducing four pop-ups while striking out two. While Brock was in top form in the circle, she did benefit from a strong defensive effort by the Tigers in the field, including a run-saving catch by Hendrickson in the third on a line drive over head that ended the lone threat of the game for the Hoosiers. Overall, Brock struck out four of the 24 batters she faced while walking two.
Offensively, three of the Tigers' four hits came from the bottom of the order as Hendrickson, Rivera and freshman Megan Allen (Yuciapa, Calif.) each posted one hit on the day against the Hoosiers.
"This afternoon's game was a great bounce back win for us," said Kolze. "Shaina threw a great game for us and the clutch triple out of Hendrickson with two outs and two strikes was outstanding. She had great at bats the entire day and it finally came together."
Pacific will be back in on Saturday, March 6 in day two action of the DeMarnini tournament in Fullerton, Calif. The Tigers take on No. 20 North Carolina in the first game of two at 9:00 am.