Pacific Softball: Tigers Win A Slugfest 12-9 Over San Jose State
Looking to stay perfect at their 2011 Libby Matson Tournament, the Pacific softball team won a slugfest with San Jose State on Sunday, February 27, 12-9 at Bill Simoni Field. The win for the Tigers was their third of the tournament as Pacific moved to 3-0 at the Libby Matson while improving to 7-2 on the year while the Spartans fell to 0-3 in Stockton and 8-7 on the year.
Taking on San Jose State in the second game of the day, the Tigers found themselves in a battle at the plate as they just could not shake the visiting Spartans until the final pitch of the seventh inning. In the contest Pacific would score a season high 12 runs on 15 hits, their largest hit total since putting together 20 against Illinois exactly two years prior during the 2009 season.
Despite the big run total, the Tigers did have to come from behind once again to earn the victory as they fell behind the Spartans 4-0 just two innings into the game. An error in the field by sophomore Megan Allen would cost the Tigers' their first run of the game and prolong an inning that would see three more runs cross the plate before its completion. The big damage of the inning would come on one swing when Britney Helm lifted a 2-1 pitch over the left field fence for a three-run home run.
After spotting the Spartans four runs, the Tigers went to work reclaiming what was lost, striking for a pair of runs in the bottom half of the second inning. Allen would make up for her miscue in the top half of the inning with a big blast of her own when she pulled a 2-0 pitch to left field that sailed over the fence for her first home run of the season. The sophomore pushed her career total to 10 with the home run, placing her just two back of No. 10 in the Tigers' all-time record book.
Back in business the Tigers chipped further into the Spartans' lead an inning later, tacking on a single run in the third to climb back within one. In the inning, sophomore Amy Moore brought home junior Nicole Matson with an RBI double to right-center, her first hit of two RBI hits in the contest.
Continuing their comeback, Pacific exploded at the plate in the bottom of the fourth, throwing up a seven spot on the Spartans' pitching staff to break open the contest and take what would be an insurmountable lead. In the inning the Tigers sent 12 batters to the plate marking the second time during the weekend they had batted around in an inning, the first coming against Santa Clara in the opening game of the tournament. In all the Tigers posted five hits in the inning including getting a pair of hits from junior Alexa Rivera who led the inning off with a single while also picking up a two-RBI single through the right-side eight batters later. The Tigers' also saw Armagost, Moore and sophomore Megan Hom record RBIs in the inning.
Jumping ahead 10-4, the Tigers could not put away the pesky Spartans as San Jose State struck back in the top of the fifth, scoring three runs on four hits, including two doubles, while chasing senior Shaina Brock (2-0) from the game. Brock, had entered the game in relief of freshman Tori Shepard who picked up the start for the Tigers after upsetting No. 13 Oregon the day prior, but struggled a little with her control over the first two innings of action.
With their lead cut in half, Pacific would add two more insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, matching the Spartans' hit-for-hit from the top half of the inning while scoring the pair of runs. Matson gave the Tigers' their 11th run of the day with a double to center after freshman Megan Foglesong posted a one-out double to kick start the inning. After a single and a walk loaded the bases, Allen nearly sent everyone home early with what would have been her second home run of the afternoon, only to see her walk-off hopes strike the top of the fence and bounce back into play for what would become a very long RBI single.
Unable to finish the Spartans off and in line to pick up her second win of the season, Brock turned to sophomore Nikki Armagost to hold her lead against the Spartans for the final 2.2 innings of action, a feat the sophomore would accomplish despite a few rough patches. Those rough patches would come by way of the long ball as San Jose State tagged the sophomore for a pair of long balls, one coming off the bat of Helm for the second time in the contest in the top of the sixth while the second coming from Annica Wolfe in the seventh.
Overall, the Tigers saw eight of their nine starters record hits in the contest with seven recording two hits a piece. Allen finished with a team-high three RBI while Armagost, Moore and Rivera each recorded a pair of RBI in the game.
In the circle, Brock picked up the win in 2.1 innings innings of work as she relinquished six hits and three runs while striking out three. Armagost gave up two runs and four hits in 2.2 innings in the circle while striking out three while Shepard picked up the no-decision as she threw two full innings with just one hit against while giving up four runs, all unearned.
The loss was suffered by Janessa Gutierrez who lasted just 1.1 innings in relief for the Spartans as she gave up eight hits and nine runs, however only three runs were earned. Three Spartan hitters, Helm, Sadie Coenen and Jessica Garcia each recorded two hits in the game as San Jose State posted 11 hits in the loss.
Pacific will close out play at the Libby Matson Tournament on Monday, February 28, with a rematch against No. 13 Oregon at Bill Simoni Field. The game is scheduled for 10:00 am.