Pacific Softball Bombs Its Way To The Libby Matson Tournament Title
Finding their bats that had been lost for most of the weekend, the Pacific softball team used a pair of long bombs to down San Jose State, 3-2, on Sunday, March 3, to claim the 2013 Libby Matson Tournament title. With the win the Tigers took home a tournament title and a bit of revenge against the Spartans as Pacific avenged an earlier 4-2 loss to San Jose State in round-robin play. The win improved Pacific's record to 13-6 on the year and 3-2 at the tournament while the Spartans fell to 14-9 overall and 4-1 in tournament play.
Entering the game struggling at the plate, the Tigers' bats finally came alive in the last game of tournament play to lead Pacific past the Spartans. Hit with some bad luck throughout the tournament in terms of balls in play, the Tigers took control of their own luck with two mighty swings of the bat, putting the ball where no glove could catch it.
Down two heading into the fourth, the Tigers picked up their first runs of the game thanks to the heart of the order. Held in check throughout the weekend, senior Nikki Armagost took advantage of a deep left side of the infield to lay down a perfectly placed bunt single to put herself on in front of junior Taylor Petty. With Armagost on and one down in the inning, Petty drove the first pitch she saw over the left-center fence, just short of the Tigers' scored board to knot the game at 2-2. The junior's big fly was her first of the season and the first for the Tigers' since the second weekend of the season.
With new life and a rejuvenated offense, the Tigers took control of the game in the top of the sixth inning on their second home run of the afternoon. Facing the ace of the Spartans' staff, junior Megan Foglesong sat in wait for a pitch she could drive to leadoff the inning. That pitch came in the form of a 1-1 hanging changeup that Foglesong crushed to deep left field, leaving no doubt to the winner of the at bat and with it, giving the Tigers' their first lead of the contest. The home run was the second of the season for the junior leftfielder.
Provided with three runs of support from her junior outfielders, Armagost made the one-run lead hold up as the Tiger ace ran through the final two innings of play to record her seventh win of the season. Armagost needed just four pitches in the sixth to retire the bottom of the Spartan order while the top of the order came up with just a single to second in the bottom of the seventh to end the game.
Prior to the final two innings of action, Armagost relinquished just six hits and two runs as Pacific's normally reliable defense helped the Spartans place tallies on the scoreboard. In the first, a misread ball in right allowed San Jose State to strike for an RBI triple while in the third, a bloop to shallow right center dropped, kicking off a rally in the middle of the Spartan order. Despite the issues, Armagost improved to 7-2 overall as she threw 7.0 complete innings while striking out five.
For the Spartans, Amanda Pridmore was tagged with the loss as she gave up the solo home run to Foglesong in the sixth after entering the game in relief in the top of the fourth inning. She pitched 3.2 innings while giving up two hits and striking out two. Starter Allison Lang lasted 3.1 innings while giving up four hits and the two runs to Petty.
Prior to the Tigers' victory, Southern Utah defeated Nevada, 9-5, in the consolation game of the tournament.
Pacific is back in action on Wednesday, March 6, when the team travels to Berkeley to take on the No. 7 ranked Bears of Cal. The game is scheduled for 2 p.m., weather permitting.