Pacific Softball: Pacific Splits A Pair Of Shutouts With Sacramento State
Heading just up the road to take on the Hornets, the Pacific softball team split a doubleheader with Sacramento State on Wednesday, March 9. Playing at Shea Stadium, the Tigers fell in game one 2-0 before rebounding to take game two 3-0. The split moved Pacific's record 10-6 overall while the Hornets improved to 3-8.
Taking on the Hornets on the road, the Tigers got off to a sluggish start, struggling to figure out Taylor Stroud, Sacramento State's starting pitcher in the opening contest. Held to just three hits, two of which came in the final inning of action, Pacific was unable to crack the scoreboard for just the third time on the year.
With Pacific struggling at the plate, the Hornets were able to take advantage as they pushed across a pair of runs in support of Stroud to pick up the win. After getting through the Hornet order once with just one allowed runner due to a hit batter, sophomoreNikki Armagostgave up her first hits of the contest in the third inning of action as Alyssa Nakken, Shannon Kaufman and Emily McCormick posted three consecutive hits to do their damage. The RBI double by McCormick would bring home the first run of the game for the Hornets and prove to be all the runs they would need in the contest.
Two innings later, Sacramento State would strike for a second run, adding insurance on the back end of what would be a two run victory. In all, Armagost gave up six hits and two runs in six complete innings pitched as she also struck out five and walked one to fall to 4-4. Offensively, the sophomore led the way with a 2-for-3 day while sophomoreMegan Homadded Pacific's third hits of the afternoon.
Down one game from the early contest, the Tigers turned things around in the second half of the weekday doubleheader as they broke through for the first time in the day with a pair of runs in the third inning to take a lead they would not relinquish. In the inning, Pacific got things going at the plate as juniorAlexa Riveraled the inning off with her first hit of the afternoon, an infield single down the third base line. After moving all the way to third on a sacrifice and an error, Rivera would score the first run of the day for the Tigers on a sacrifice fly by freshmanMegan Foglesongwho picked up her eighth RBI of the season. Two batters later, Armagost helped her young pitcher out with her bat once again, lacing a single through the right side that would bring home the second run of the inning.
In the fifth, Pacific would add one more insurance run for Shepard as they strung together three hits in the inning to come up with their run. Started by a single by Hom, the Tigers would loaded the bases with singles from Foglesong and Armagost, setting the table for sophomoreAmy Moore. After missing out on plating a run earlier in the game with the bases loaded, the sophomore catcher made good with a deep fly ball to right that would give Hom plenty of time to score the third and final run of the game for the Tigers.
In the circle, freshmanTori Shepardwas solid once again to pick up her third win of the season and move to 3-2 overall as she calmly pitched out of a pair of jams to hold the Hornets off the scoreboard and earn the first shutout of the season for the Tigers. The Lodi, Calif. native used a mix of pitches to keep the Sacramento State bats off balance and over the final four innings of work, stranded runners in scoring position by inducing lazy pop ups and a few week ground balls to quell the potential rallies. In all, Shepard struck out five and hit just one batter to pick up the complete game shutout of the Hornets.
The Tigers are back in action on Saturday, March 12 at home at Bill Simoni Field when they welcome in Cal State Bakersfield for a non-conference doubleheader. The first game is scheduled for 12:00 pm.