Pacific Softball: Milestone Day Nets Pacific A Sweep Of Cal State Bakersfield
For the 600th time in his long and distinguished career, head coach Brian Kolze guided his team to victory as Pacific took a pair of contest at Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday, March 27. In a day of milestones for the Tigers, Pacific defeated the Roadrunners, 9-3, and 10-0 (5 inn.) to secure their 20th win of the season and improve to 20-11 on the year.
On top of their coach picking up his 600th victory, the Tigers saw a slew of other milestones past throughout the day as Pacific made its common-place midweek doubleheader into a celebration of softball excellence. In game one, the Tigers saw their sophomore hurler Tori Shepard etch her name in the single-season records books as she picked up her seventh save of the season to help the Tigers to the victory. The save put Shepard above all the rest who have pitched for Pacific throughout the years as the sophomore passed all-time great Cindy Ball for the top spot in the record books after Ball grabbed six saves as a senior in 2002.
In game two, the Tigers' saw their juniors steal the show as Megan Hom put the finishing touches on an epic day at the plate by blasting her first career home run while Nikki Armagost singled home her 100th career RBI. For Hom, the day proved to be one of the best of her already stellar career as the junior finished 8-for-9 at the plate with three RBI, four runs scored and the home run.
For Armagost, a frustrating day at the plate in which she saw very little to hit and was walked three times and hit another culminated in her first at bat of the second game as she drove home sophomore Megan Foglesong to hit the RBI century mark. With the RBI, Armagost joined senior Nicole Matson as the only set of active teammates in Pacific program history to hold 100-career RBI at the same time. Matson reached the 150 RBI mark during the day after posting seven RBI during the two games.
Despite scoring in six of the seven innings played, Pacific could not shake the pesky Roadrunners until the final two innings of action as Cal State Bakersfield used a trio of pitchers to keep the Tigers just enough off balance so they could not bust the game open. Through the first five innings of action, the Tigers managed to post five runs against the Roadrunners as Pacific used a patient approach at the plate in an attempt to counter the wildness of the Roadrunner pitching staff.
However, the Tigers were not able to completely put Cal State Bakersfield away as the Tigers left nine runners on in the first five innings of action which allowed the Roadrunners to stay close. In the bottom of the fifth, the Roadrunners struck for three runs to cut Pacific's lead to just two as they ran Armagost, who started the first game in the circle, from the game before she could record the out. In relief, Shepard entered the contest and slammed the door on the Roadrunners, while not allowing just one hit in three innings of work.
With a 5-3 lead heading into the sixth, Pacific finally got the breathing room it was looking for when Matson lifted her first of two three-run home runs on the day over the left field fence. She would add a fourth RBI an inning later when she worked a walk with the bases loaded to cap Pacific's scoring.
With the momentum of the game one finish in their corner, the Tigers dismantled the Roadrunners in the second game of the day as they pounded out 12 hits and scored 10 runs en route to the run shortened victory. The Tigers scored a trio of runs in three of the five innings of play throughout the game beginning in the first inning when Pacific used a slew of Roadrunner mistakes and a trio of hits to do their damage. Armagost's single up the middle in the inning plated her 100th RBI and the Tigers' second run.
In the second, the Tigers saw Hom continue her unbelievable performance by lining her first-ever home run over the right-center fence to plate the first two runs of the inning. The third run would come on a single by Rodriguez to complete the inning for Pacific.
After a plating a single run in the fourth on an RBI single by sophomore Gabby Goyette, the Tigers put the finishing touches on their victory in the top of the fifth inning when Matson launched her second three-run home run of the afternoon. To start the inning, Hom led off with a double to right-center to complete her game with a perfect 4-for-4 showing to cap off her eight hit afternoon against the Roadrunners.
In the circle, Shepard continued her dominance against the Roadrunners as the sophomore threw a five-inning, complete game shutout of Cal State Bakersfield to pick up her seventh win of the year. With the shutout, Shepard moved her shutout streak to 24 straight innings as she added eight more scoreless innings to her totals after 16 innings over the weekend.
Pacific will be back in action on Saturday, March 30 when the Tigers begin their defense of the Big West Conference championship against Cal State Northridge at home. The two teams will square off for a doubleheader at Bill Simoni Field beginning at 12:00 pm.