Armagost And The Offense Shut Down No. 21 Oklahoma State, 5-0
Kicking off their week at the Cathedral City Classic, the Pacific softball team began play in top form as the Tigers shutout the No. 21 ranked Oklahoma State Cowgirls, 5-0, on Thursday, February 23. No stranger to knocking off the nation's top teams in the desert, the Tigers picked up their first win over a top-25 opponent of the season and improved to 3-5 on the year.
Two years ago at the Cathedral City Classic, then freshman Nikki Armagost introduced herself to the college softball world by taking down No. 22 Northwestern on Fenway Field at the Big League Dreams Complex. Still rolling two years later, Armagost was at it again on the same field as the junior ace dominated an Oklahoma State lineup that had been to the Women's College World Series a season ago to pick up her third career win over a ranked opponent.
For seven strong innings, Armagost proved to be the master of an inconsistent strike zone, keeping the Cowgirls off balance and giving her offense an opportunity to work without pressure throughout the morning. For the day, Armagost never found herself in trouble as she allowed just one minor threat in the bottom of the fourth before slamming the door on any scoring thoughts by the Cowgirls. In all, Armagost allowed just four hits and walked to while striking out a season-best eight to move to 2-2 on the young season.
Offensively, the Tigers went to work behind their junior in the circle, starting slowly before coming through for five runs. Like a top team should, Pacific made the Cowgirls pay for their mistakes in the field and in the circle as the Tigers took advantage of three errors, five walks and used six timely hits to do the damage in the game.
Pacific got on the board in three of the seven innings of action, scoring a single run in the second, two in the third and two more in the sixth to put the game away. After scoring an unearned run in the first, the Tigers picked up their first big hits of the afternoon in the top of the third inning to take firm control of the game. Armagost got things going for the Tigers when she picked up the first hit of the morning for Pacific after a leadoff walk put one aboard for the Tigers. Two batters later, Armagost's battery mate, junior Amy Moore, followed suite with a two-RBI single to put the Tigers up three.
In the sixth, the Tigers manufactured a pair of insurance runs as a walk and back-to-back hits by junior Megan Hom and sophomore Kelsey Rodriguez put Pacific up four before Armagost helped her own cause once again with a sacrifice fly to center.
The Tigers will look to keep their momentum rolling against BYU later in the day when the two teams hookup for their final games of day two at the Cathedral City Classic. The game is scheduled for 3:30 pm.