Pacific Softball: Shepard Dominates With A 4-0 Shutout Of Coastal Carolina
Rebounding from a tough early loss to start the Stanford Invitational, the Pacific softball team picked up a 4-0- shutout of Coastal Carolina on Friday, March 25. With the win the Tigers moved to 1-1 at the tournament and 17-10 on the year while the Chanticleers fell to 14-15.
Dominating in the circle against the Chanticleers, freshman Tori Shepard got off to a fast start and never let up. Racking up the strikeouts, the freshman set a new career mark by the third inning as she had posted six of her 11 punch outs during the early frames. Fittingly, Shepard struck out the side to end the game, the last of which was called on three straight pitches. The 11 strikeouts was the most for a Tiger pitcher since Chelsea Engle (2006-09) struck out 13 in a 6-1 win over Saint Mary's on Feb. 10, 2008.
She would not give up her first hit of the game until a leadoff single through the left side of the infield in the fourth ended her no-hit bid. As she did in the first, Shepard pitched her way out of a minor jam to keep Coastal Carolina out of the scorebook. Widely affective throughout the night, the freshman walked six while relinquishing just three hits. The walks created jams for Shepard in four of her seven innings pitched, however she would strand runners at first and second in the first, fourth, fifth and sixth innings of play.
Offensively, the Tigers slowly put together its support of its young hurler as they jumped on the scoreboard with single runs in both the second and third innings. In the second, Pacific put together a two-out rally to do its damage a rally with began when sophomore Amy Moore flared a double to right-center. An infield single by junior Alexa Rivera moved Moore to third where she would be able to score on a throwing error on a tough play by the Chanticleers third baseman.
An inning later Pacific added its second run when sophomore Megan Hom and freshman Megan Foglesong put together back-to-back hits to post the run. Hom, who scored the run, moved into scoring position prior to Foglesong's single on a passed ball by Coastal Carolina's catcher.
Looking for more insurance at the plate, the Tigers would double their production in the bottom of the fifth as they drove home two more runs with three more hits. After a leadoff single by Pierce got the Tigers an early runner, Pacific would move its senior to third on a sacrifice bunt and a deep fly ball to right. Just 60 feet from scoring, Pierce trotted home on a hard hit chopper up the middle by junior Nicole Matson after Coastal Carolina's shortstop was unable to make a play on the hit. Following Matson, sophomore Nikki Armagost blasted a double over the head of Olivia Piccirillo in center, scoring Matson all the way from first.
At the plate, Pacific picked up nine hits led by Pierce's 2-for-4 showing. Overall, eight of the Tigers' nine starters recorded hits in the game while Foglesong, Matson and Armagost each posted RBIs in the scorebook.
Pacific will be back in action on Saturday, March 26 when the Tigers face the host and No. 13 ranked Cardinal of Stanford. The game is slated for 1:15 pm, pending weather considerations.