Pacific Softball: Stellar Day In The Field Pushes Pacific Past San Jose State, 6-0
Taking to the road for a single game at San Jose State, the Pacific softball team put together a historic defensive effort en route to a 6-0 win on Tuesday, March 6. In dispatching the Spartans, the Tigers posted a pair of double plays to go along with turning the first triple play under head coach Brian Kolze. The win for the Tigers moved their record to 10-8 overall while the Spartans fell to 10-12.
Rebounding from a tough defensive day two days prior, the Tigers put on a show in the field in support of their freshman hurler, Dani Bonnet, as Pacific's infield shut down every threat seen in spectacular fashion. After putting the Spartans down in order in the first, Bonnet gave up her first hit of the game in the bottom of the second only to see the runner erased from the books by senior Nicole Matson and junior Nikki Armagost. The duo teamed up for the first double play of the afternoon as Matson nabbed a ball up the middle to turn an easy double play on the ground.
Two innings later, the Tigers were at it again, this time in a more conventional fashion as junior Megan Allen turned a ground ball to third into a 5-4-3 inning ending double play to help Bonnet get through the middle of the order.
With two double plays already in their pocket, the Tigers one upped themselves in the bottom of the fifth inning when the defense turned an unconventional triple play to end the Spartans' first real scoring threat. With runners at the corners and no outs in the inning, Bonnet induced a soft line drive to Matson at short while the runner from first was breaking for second. With the Tigers busy doubling up the runner at first, the Spartans attempted to steal a run at the plate, only to see Armagost gun down the would-be run with a perfect throw to junior Amy Moore at the plate who quickly applied the tag for the third out.
Seeing the defense put on a clinic, the Tigers' offense came up with a few tricks of their own while tacking six runs to the scoreboard. After two quiet innings at the plate, the Tigers got things started at the bottom of the lineup as Allen led the top of the third off with Pacific's first hit of the afternoon. Two outs later, the middle of the Tigers' order came through to put Pacific on the board as Armagost singled to move Allen to third while Matson continued her hot hitting with a two-RBI double to left center.
Two innings later and just before turning their triple play in the bottom half of the inning, the Tigers came up with their own stunner at the plate as sophomore Megan Foglesong dropped down a perfectly executed squeeze bunt to score Matson from third. On the play, the Tigers picked up a free run on an errant throw by the Spartans' pitcher as she tried to get Foglesong at first, only to throw the ball into right field and allow Moore to score all the way from second. Prior to the well-timed squeeze, the Tigers got a third run in the game from Matson once again as the senior followed an error and a double by Armagost to drive home her third RBI.
The Tigers would tack on a sixth insurance run in the top of the sixth inning on a RBI single to left by Armagost which scored junior Megan Hom. Hom had reached on a five-pitch walk two batter earlier and moved into scoring position on a fielder's choice that cut down the Tigers' lead runner at third the batter prior to Armagost.
Taking advantage of her offensive and defensive support, Bonnet shook off a pair of hard-luck losses from the previous weekend to pitch her second complete game shutout of the season. Bonnet moved to 4-3 on the year as she scattered six hits in seven innings of work while walking two and striking out one to grab her third shutout. Bonnet got out of two real jams in the game, one in the fifth with the double play and again in the sixth when the freshman pitched out of bases load trouble by getting the middle of the Spartan order to pop up and weakly ground out to the right side of the infield.
Pacific faced four different pitchers throughout the contest with Jennifer Ames taking the loss as the San Jose State starter. Ames went three full innings and gave up three hits and two runs before giving way to Madison Fish who relinquished the last four runs of the game to the Tigers.
The Tigers will next be in action in Tempe, Ariz. as they travel to Arizona State's Diamond Devil Invitational to be played from March 9-11. Pacific will take on Ceighton in its first game at the tournament which is scheduled for 11:00 am on Friday, March 9.