Tigers Close Out Round Robin Play With An 8-0 Win Over Northern Colorado
Rebounding from their first loss of the season the Pacific softball team put together a second stellar effort at the Miken Classic as the Tigers took down Northern Colorado 8-0 (5 inn.). Pacific's win moved its record to 5-1 on the year, 2-1 at the tournament and gave the Tigers the No. 2 seed into knockout play.
Throughout the morning the Tigers took advantage of timely hitting and Bear mistakes to score in three of the four innings Pacific stepped to the plate. Posting crooked numbers in the second, third and fourth innings, the Tigers made short work of Northern Colorado on the second day of tournament play. In the second, the Tigers put to good use a pair of walks to the heart of the order to strike for the first time in the contest. After a single up the middle by senior Megan Allen loaded the bases for the first time in the game, the Tigers caught their first break of the day as an errant home throw allowed the first run to score.
With continued life freshman Melanie Habib delivered the first RBI of the game with a single up through the right side to give Pacific the 2-0 lead. After just missing out on the big inning in the second, Pacific began to pull away from the Bears in the third as three runs crossed the plate. Once again, a pair of walks started the rally for Pacific in front of Allen who came through again, this time with a two-RBI double to right-center. Allen finished the morning 2-for-3 with two RBI. With Allen standing at second, sophomore Alex Steinmehl just missed her first career home run as the second-year catcher doubled off the wall to make it 5-0.
Up comfortably, the Tigers put the game out of reach in the fourth as three more runs crossed the plate with an assist from the Bears' defense. Singles by junior Megan Foglesong and senior Nikki Armagost got the Tigers' their first run of the inning while a pair of errors and helped Pacific to its final two runs of the game. Spotted eight runs by her offense, junior Tori Shepard threw her second strong start of the season as she mowed down the Bears for five innings to earn the victory.
Getting into trouble just once, Shepard relied on the strikeout to do most of her damage as she tallied nine against 17 batters faced. Her nine marked the most in her career in a five-inning shortened game and most since posting 11 against Coastal Carolina as a freshman. Throughout her day, Shepard gave up just three hits, two coming in the fourth when the Bears loaded the bases, only to be denied by Shepard and Pacific's defense. Most notably, Shepard got an assist from her battery mate, Steinmehl, who picked off her first career runner to end the fourth and the Bears' threat.
Pacific and the Bears will meet again in semifinal action later in the day as the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds of the Miken Classic. The game is scheduled for 3:30 pm PST.