Pacific Softball: Tigers Drop The Rematch With No. 13 Oregon To Close Out The Libby Matson Tournament
With the conclusion of the 2011 Libby Matson Tournament on hand, the Pacific softball team suffered its first loss of the tournament as the Tigers fell to No. 13 Oregon, 9-1, on Monday, February 28. Pacific's loss dropped its record to 7-3 on the year while the Ducks improved to 14-2 overall.
In a rematch of game two of the tournament, the Tigers took on the Ducks looking for their second upset of the top-15 team. However, the perfect weekend was not in the cards for Pacific as Oregon showed why it is one of the top hitting team's in the country as the Ducks tallied nine runs on 11 hits to pick up the revenge victory.
Through the first two innings of the contest, Pacific was able to hold back the Oregon attack at the plate as sophomoreNikki Armagost(3-2) was able to pitch out of two early jams. However, the early trouble would be a sign of what was to come as the Ducks broke open the game in the third inning, notching four runs as they sent all nine batters to the plate in the frame. In the inning, the Ducks posted four hits including a pair of doubles off the bats of Christie Nieto and Allie Burger.
An inning later, the Ducks struck for two more as they strung together three straight hits to start the inning including an RBI double by Samantha Pappas before a pair of sacrifice flies netted the last two runs of the inning. The Ducks would add two more insurance runs over the final two innings, taking advantage of a pair of Pacific errors to score unearned runs.
On the other side of the ball, the Tigers struggled to come up with the big hits that they produced two days prior as they left nine runners on base including five in scoring position. Keeping Pacific's bats at bay was Jessica Moore (7-1) as the Duck starter allowed just two hits in five innings of work. Pacific did have its chances against Moore with its best chance to get back into the contest coming in the bottom of the fifth inning.
In the inning, the Tigers were able to put two runners on with only one out in the inning as freshmanTaylor Pettyworked a walk while seniorLindsey Piercefollowed with the Tigers' second hit of the game. After advancing the runners 60 feet, Pacific caught its only break of the day when the Ducks committed a fielding error that would have ended the inning, but instead allowed Petty to score the Tigers' first and only run of the contest. The Tigers would threaten for more in the inning after loading the bases, but a called third strike on an outside curveball ended Pacific's hope for another comeback against the Ducks.
In all, Armagost picked up the loss for the Tigers in the circle as the sophomore starter worked 2.2 innings while giving up five hits and being charged with four runs against. She struck out four and walked three while also hitting one batter. In relief, both freshmanTori Shepardand seniorShaina Brocksaw work with Brock being the more effective of the two as she threw the final three innings of the game giving up just two hits and being tagged with two unearned runs.
At the plate, sophomoreMegan Allenpicked up the Tigers third hit of the game with an infield single in the sixth while juniorNicole Matsonhad the Tigers, first hit of the game, a bunt single in the bottom of the second. She also reached base two other times as she was hit by two pitches, bringing her season total to five. Armagost reached base safely once in the contest via a walk in the fourth to extend her on-base streak to 25 games dating back to last season.
For the Ducks, three hitters recorded multiple hits in the contest led by Nieto's perfect 3-for-3 showing. Courtney Ceo and Pappas each added two hits in the game while Kelsey Chambers finished with a game-high two RBI.
The Tigers are back in action on Friday, March 4 when they begin play in Gainesville, Fla. at the University of Florida Tournament. Pacific will take on Gardner-Webb in their first game of the weekend with a contest scheduled to begin at 10:00 am PST.