Pacific Softball: Tigers And Mustangs Split A Pair In Their Final Double Header
Playing in their final double header of the 2010 season, the Pacific softball team earned a split of the afternoon's action with Cal Poly on Friday, May 14. The Mustangs dominated the first game with a 12-3 win while Pacific rebounded with a big offensive game of their own taking the second contest 8-2. With the split the Tigers improved to 24-29 overall and 10-10 in the Big West while the Mustangs improved to 22-24 overall and 11-9 in conference play.
After finishing their road schedule last week in dominating fashion, the Tigers came home to Bill Simoni Field in hopes of turning around their luck on their home field. However, in game one, Cal Poly had other ideas as the road tested Mustangs, who came into the weekend 15-3 on the road in conference in the last two seasons. Immediately, the Tigers found themselves playing catch up with the Mustangs when Cal Poly dropped two runs on Pacific in the top of the first inning. A leadoff walk set up the inning for the Mustangs as they used three hits to post the runs including an RBI single from starting pitcher Anna Cahn and the conference's leading hitter.
Despite the sudden deficit, the Tigers immediately responded in their half of the inning as they dented the plate twice themselves to knot the score at 2-2. After freshman Nikki Armagost (Andover, Kan.) put runners at second and third with a one out double to left-center, senior Kellee Wilson (Tracy, Calif.) plate the first run of the game with an RBI single up the middle. The RBI was the 100th of her career making the senior third baseman just the fifth Tiger in program history to hit the century mark in RBIs. Sophomore Alexa Rivera (Sacramento, Calif.) drove in the second run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to batters later to cap the scoring.
In the second, Cal Poly once again jumped ahead with one run in the inning, a solo home run off the bat of Shea Williams to leadoff the frame. The home run was the first of Williams' career. Again, however, the Tigers rebounded to tie the game, this time in the bottom of the third when freshman Megan Allen(Yucaipa, Calif.) drove home Rivera, who had reached on a two-out double to center.
The 3-3 tie would not stand for long as the Mustangs took back the lead for good in the top of the fourth, picking up two more runs to take a 5-3 lead. Again, a leadoff walk hurt the Tigers when Dana Perez picked up a two-out double to start the scoring and Cahn finished it off with an RBI single through the right-side of the infield.
Up 5-3, the Mustangs put the game to rest with seven more unanswered runs over the final three innings of work, pounding out 17 total hits to capture the opening contest. During the seven run rally, Williams hit her second home run of the afternoon while Krysten Cary added a three-run home run later in the seventh inning.
Cahn picked up the victory for the Mustangs with a complete game in which she gave up seven hits and three earned runs. She also walked two and struck out two to improve to 12-13 overall. Junior Shaina Brock (Derby, Kan.) was saddled with the loss to fall to 7-10 on the year as she gave up five runs on eight hits in 3.2 innings of work while Wilson gave up seven runs and nine hits in 3.1 innings of relief.
In game two, the Tigers turned the tables on the Mustangs with an offensive outburst of their own. However, the Tigers started out on rocky ground early as the Mustangs again posted two runs on the scoreboard in the first inning of play on a two-run, two-out home run by Cahn, who was the designated player to start the contest. The home run came after Armagost, the Tigers' starter in game two, issued a two-out walk to Cary after recording the first two outs in the inning on just four pitches.
Despite falling behind, Armagost settled in to an effectively wild groove throughout the rest of the contest as the home run by Cahn would be the Mustangs' lone hit of the game until the seventh inning. Pitching for what would become her 13th win of the season, Armagost held the Mustangs in check after their first game explosion despite issuing a season-high nine walks throughout the game and finding herself in small jams in the third, fourth, fifth and seventh inning. Overall, Armagost through her conference-leading 19th complete game of the season to move to 13-11 on the year as she relinquished just three hits and two runs while also striking out four. The second and third hits of the game for Cal Poly came in the top of the seventh inning with the Tigers leading 8-2.
Offensively, the Tigers came back to life in the second game in support of their freshman hurler, putting together a 14 hit performance to earn the win. After falling behind 2-0 in the first, the Tigers immediately responded as they had done in the first game, however, this time they tallied three runs to take the lead and never look back. In the inning a leadoff walk to junior Lindsey Pierce (Camarillo, Calif.) put one runner on for the Tigers while yet Armagost tallied her 12th double of the year two batters later to put two on for the meat of the Tigers' order. With two outs, senior Karie Wilson (Glendale, Ariz.) delivered what would stand as the winning blow a three-run shot off the left field foul pole. The home run was her career-best sixth of the season.
Three innings later, Kellee Wilson got into the party with a three-run home run down the left field line to plate the Tigers second, third and fourth runs of the inning. The home run was her career-best seventh home run of the season and gave her 13 for her career moving her into a tie with junior Nicole Matson (Castaic, Calif.) for eighth place on the Tigers' all-time home runs list. Prior to the big fly from Wilson, the Tigers had posted three singles from freshman Amy Moore(Valencia, Calif.), Pierce and freshman Megan Hom (Irvine, Calif.), the last of which scored the first run of the inning.
Up 7-2, the Tigers added a sixth insurance run in the top of the sixth inning on an RBI single by Wilson. Wilson was able to pick up her fourth RBI of the game and fifth of the afternoon after Pierce and Armagost reached base with singles to start the inning.
The Tigers and the Mustangs will bring to a close their 2010 seasons on Saturday, May 15, with their series finale at Bill Simoni Field which is slated for a 10:00 am start. The winner of the game will finish the season in third place in the Big West. The early start is due to graduation ceremonies scheduled later in the day around campus for the Pacific seniors, three of who, Brittany Hendrickson (San Jose, Calif.), Karie Wilson and Kellee Wilson, will be playing their final game.