Pacific Softball: One Hit Masterpiece By Shepard Leads Pacific Past Princeton
Beginning play at their own Libby Matson Tournament, the Pacific softball team started the weekend with a bang as sophomore Tori Shepard one hit the Princeton Tigers to earn a 5-0 shutout on Thursday, March 22. The win pushed Pacific's record to 15-10 on the year while Princeton dropped to 3-13 overall.
Painting a masterpiece in the circle throughout the night, Shepard (5-4) found herself in complete control from her first pitch until her 96th to earn her fifth victory of the season. For the sophomore, the night was nearly perfect as Shepard faced just two batters over the minimum required for the complete game while allowing just three Princeton batters to reach base in 24 trips to the plate.
Just missing out on her first career no-hitter, Shepard gave up the lone hit of the contest to Princeton to the first batter she faced as Nicole Ontiveros lined a double down the first base line just out of reach of junior Nikki Armagost at first. After giving up the double, Shepard dug in and never looked back as she relinquished just two more baserunners in the game, one via an error in the field and one by walk to completely shutdown the Princeton offense.
With Shepard dominating in the circle, the Tigers were able to relax at the plate where they were able to post a 10 hit, five run effort in support of their sophomore. With just one run proving to be all she would need to come out on top on the night, Shepard saw her fellow classmate, Kelsey Rodriguez, provide the game-winning run in the bottom of the first inning with just one swing of the bat. With one out in the inning, Rodriguez crushed 3-2 pitch over the left field fence to put the Tigers up 1-0. The home run was the sophomore's third of the season and 18th of the year for Pacific.
In the third, the Tigers tacked on a second run when junior Megan Hom led the inning off by beating out an infield single. After moving to second, Hom came around to score on a sharp single back up the middle by senior Nicole Matson, who picked up her team-leading 26th RBI.
Two innings later, Pacific would add two more on a two-out, two-RBI double by sophomore Megan Foglesong, who fought off a 3-2 pitch by going the opposite way down the right field line. Up 4-0, Rodriguez put the finishing touches on the Tigers' offensive evening with her second hit and second RBI of the game as she singled home junior Megan Allen who had reached earlier in the inning with her second single of the night.
Overall, the Tigers tagged Princeton for 10 hits with Rodriguez, Armagost and Allen each picking up a pair. Rodriguez added a walk to her two hits to finish the night on base three out of four trips to the plate.
The Libby Matson Tournament continues on Friday, March 23, at 12:00 pm as Princeton takes on San Diego State to begin action on day two. The Tigers will also take on San Diego State later in the day as the two lock horns for the night cap which is slated to begin at 4:30 pm.