Wild Inning Leads Pacific Past St. John's, 7-2
Playing at home for the first time in 2013, the Pacific softball team kicked off its home schedule with a 7-2 win over St. John's on Tuesday, Feb. 26. The win for the Tigers ran their record to 10-4 on the year while the Red Storm fell to 3-8-1 overall.
Getting their feet wet over the first three innings of play, the Tigers patiently waited out the Red Storm until breaking the game open with a six-run fourth that buried St. John's and led Pacific to the victory. After putting runners in scoring position in each of the first three innings with hits, the Tigers needed to barely put the ball in play in the fourth as they took advantage of wild pitching and free passes to do the bulk of their damage.
In Pacific's big inning, the Tigers saw three pitching changes, sent 12 to the plate and picked up three walks and were hit three times by errant pitches to grab six bases and a pair of RBI. The first batter hit in the inning was senior Megan Allen as the fourth-year third baseman was hit in the head by the first pitch of the inning. After shaking it off and taking her base, Allen moved around the diamond on a pair of infield singles by freshman Melanie Habib and senior Megan Hom. She would come in to score the first run of the game on a wild pitch during junior Megan Foglesong's at bat. The at bat for Foglesong resulted in a walk to reload the bases for the heart of the lineup and run the Red Storm's relief pitcher, Aleshia Link (1-1) from the game after just 0.1 innings of work.
The new pitcher for the Red Storm, who also happened to be the starter Ashley Beza, faired no better against the Tigers as the second pitch of her second stint struck junior Taylor Petty in the middle of the back resulting in an RBI bruise for the rightfielder.
Not to be left out of the "hit" party, senior Nikki Armagost wore one as well to push home the third run of the inning. From there, the Tigers finally got a chance to put the ball in play as senior Amy Moore drove a deep fly ball to right-center that resulted in a sacrifice fly and two runs coming in as the Red Storm outfielders collided on the catch, allowing Petty to score all the way from second. After a walk put runners at first and second with two outs, the Tigers posted their final run of the inning on an RBI double by Allen, who was at the plate for the second time in the frame. The double off the glove of the Red Storm's third basemen brought home Armagost from second as the senior crossed the plate for the first time in the game and the 100th time in her standout career. With the run, Armagost became just the fourth Tiger in Pacific's 35-year history to reach 100 Runs and 100 RBI in a career. Armagost's run gave her 100 runs for her career to go along with 127 RBI. She joined Nicole Matson (2008-12) with 164 RBI and 149 Runs, Jennifer Curtier (2004-07) with 170 RBI and 145 Runs, and Estee Okumura (2000-03) with 134 RBI and 117 Runs as members of the 100-100 club. In addition, Armagost became just the 13th Tiger in program history to cross the plate 100 times in a career.
With six runs across in the fourth, the Tigers would tack on a seventh insurance run in the bottom of the fifth as a walk to Foglesong turned into a run after the sophomore stole second and came in to score on an Armagost single up the middle. In addition to getting it done at the plate, Armagost was unshakable in the circle as she improved to 6-1 on the year.
Pitching six solid innings, Armagost scattered seven hits and struck out seven to hold the Red Storm scoreless. In total, the Tiger senior was threatened just once, but a mistake on the basepaths cost the Red Storm a scoring chance in the first as Moore caught St. John's trying to take home on a pitch that got away. In relief, freshman Carly Mortensen picked up one inning of work as the Tigers' youngest pitcher gave up a pair of runs on a pair of hits and a walk before putting the Red Storm away for good.
Overall, the Tigers picked up eight hits in the game and were led by Hom and Armagost who each tallied two. Armagost posted a pair of RBI while Moore added two more for good measure. Foglesong turned one hit and a pair of walks into a team-best two runs scored.
The Tigers will be back on the field on Friday, Mar. 1 when they host the annual Libby Matson Tournament at Bill Simoni Field. The tournament begins at 10:00 am with a neutral site game between San Jose State and Nevada. Pacific will begin its tournament play at 2:30 pm when it takes on Nevada.