Softball Suffers First Losses
CLU drops two to Berry
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – For the first time this spring the Cal Lutheran softball team fell on the diamond, dropping a pair against non-conference Berry (Ga.) 7-3 and 4-2 after rain postponed an originally scheduled double header from Sunday to Monday.
The series featured closely matched teams as CLU and Berry collected 14 and 16 hits, respectively, on the day, but it was miscues that hurt the Regals in the end. Despite the errors, both teams showed numerous noteworthy defensive plays, with a couple of double plays, in the 14 combined innings.
For Cal Lutheran, Andrea Brackpool and Stephanie Martello had breakout games. Brackpool not only drove in a run and collected a hit, but she was responsible for three putouts in right field, all of which were highlight reel worthy. At the plate Martello was one of two CLU players, joined by designated player Danika Green, to collect three hits on the day with one landing in the gap for a double.
In game one, the top of the third inning featured phenomenal defensive efforts from the Regals to keep the Vikings off the board. Brackpoolmade a shoestring catch on a short fly ball to right for the second out of the inning and Katelyn Downing made an over the shoulder catch in left to end the threat.
Berry broke the scoreless game in the top of the fifth with one swing of the bat by Rachel Barto who lined a solo homerun over the centerfield fence. The Vikings strung together three more hits, the last a double that was misplayed in the outfield, plating another pair for a 3-0 advantage.
A line drive homerun from Marie Callop hit the top of the fence in left and bounced over to push the Berry lead to 4-0 in the sixth.
The Regals responded by cutting the deficit to one in the bottom of the sixth. With one out Downing found the grass in left center field for a hit to spark a rally. Kayla Sakamoto then slapped a single over the third baseman’s head and Blake Lewis followed with a single to load the bags for Martello. Before Martello drove in Sakamoto, a wild pitch allowed Downing to score the first run of the afternoon for the Violet and Gold. Greendrove in pinch runner Christina Hunter for the third run of the frame.
An errant throw in the top of the seventh led to three more Berry runs for the final tally of 7-3.
Kayla Davis (3-1) recorded the victory while Downing (2-1) was tagged with the loss after tossing the final 2.0 innings. Shonna Christianson got a no decision after 5.0 innings of work. Martello was 2-for-3 with the only multi-hit game for Cal Lutheran.
In game two, the leather shined on both sides again. For the Regals, Brackpool made another phenomenal catch in right and Liz Mertel snagged a foul pop up nearly running into the dugout. BC starting pitcher reacted to a comebacker after Courtney Sooy squared up a ball in the second inning and in the bottom of the sixth with the bases loaded and CLU threating for a come-back, the Vikings turned a 1-2-3 inning ending double play.
Each team collected seven hits in the contest, but the Regals were unable to string any together to produce runs while Berry was.
Cal Lutheran took a 1-0 lead after two innings. Martello started the inning with a single and came in to score on a fielder’s choice up the middle that was tipped by the pitcher before the shortstop and second baseman connected for a putout at second base.
Berry went on to score once in each of the next two innings, taking a 2-1 lead on a single to left that plated speedy pinch runner Shakarah Boswell.
Again the Violet and Gold responded, capitalizing on a passed ball, knotting the teams at 2-2 when pinch-runner Amanda Lewis slid safely into home.
BC broke the tie with the ultimate game winning runs in the fifth when Sarah Moore connected for a two-out RBI double and Abby Daniels followed with an RBI single as the next batter.
Both pitchers went the distance with Allison Coronado (2-1) scattering seven hits and earning the victory while Sooy (4-1) was defeated for the first time of the season, throwing 7.0 innings and striking out four. Regals hitters did not strike out in the second game of the day.
Green was 2-for-2 for CLU in the late game and Mertel drew three walks in her trio of plate appearances. Two BC players had multi-hit games.
Berry (8-4) will be back in action tomorrow at Chapman for a pair beginning at 3:00 p.m. when the Vikings round out their West coast trip.
Cal Lutheran (8-2) will face another non-conference opponent in Corban (Ore.) on Thursday, March 6. The double header is scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m. on Hutton Field.
Box Score: BC 7, CLU 3
Box Score: BC 4, CLU 2
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