Regals Rally for Split at No. 15 Redlands
CLU takes final game of season with UR
REDLANDS, Calif. – The Cal Lutheran softball team was at Redlands today seeking Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) revenge after being swept 8-0 twice, in a pair of five-inning meetings, two weeks ago. The Regals nearly completed a double upset of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) No. 15 team in the nation, but settled for 2-1 game two victory to close out the season series following a nine inning 7-6 loss to the Bulldogs in the opening game of the day.
CLU handed the Bulldogs just their second SCIAC loss of the season in the nightcap while the Regals maintained a third place tie in the league standings.
Overall today, the defense shined without a miscue in 16 total innings and CLU combined for a pair of plays at the plate in the second game of the afternoon while UR committed five total errors. Offensively, Cal Lutheran collected 17 hits with Stephanie Martello leading the pack with a 4-for-7 day that included two doubles, two walks, three RBIs and a run scored. Five other players had two-hit days and CLU pitchers today combined to issue just three walks.
In the second game, Redlands jumped out to a first inning 1-0 lead, but that was all the offense the Regals would allow as Courtney Sooy (9-4) scattered seven hits over 7.0 innings, striking out two.
Once again Sooy helped her own cause. She led off the fifth with a single and came in to score the tying run before Christina Hunter, who was hit by a pitch, crossed the plate moments later with the winning run on two-RBI double from Martello.
In the bottom of the fourth CLU shined the leather when a runner on third was attempting to advance on a fly ball to Kayla Sakamoto in center, but she teamed up with Taylor Beacham and Sooy for the out at the plate. Liz Mertel also cut down a player looking to advance with an unassisted putout in the sixth.
Unfortunately, the game one outcome was not as fulfilling as CLU lost a pair of leads and ultimately fell in a UR ninth inning walk-off.
Homeruns hurt the Regals after taking a 2-0 lead in the first inning. A trio of UR errors on the first three plays of the game loaded the bases for Martelloand Kelly Lockwood who each recorded RBI singles up the middle in the frame.
CLU would maintain the lead until Redlands knotted things in the third. A four-run fifth inning from the Regals put the visiting team back on top. Again the first three batters reached with Hunterand Martello notching back-to-back hits before Lockwood worked a walk. Each of the next three Cal Lutheran hitters drove in at least one run with Andrea Brackpool stroking a two-run double to right center followed by RBI hits from Merteland Shonna Christianson.
Redlands would collect three consecutive singles in the bottom of the seventh before Christianson would retire the next two Bulldogs. With one run already across the plate in the inning, UR centerfielder Amanda Lieva got a hold of a pitch and drove the ball for a three-run, game tying homerun, sending the teams into extra innings. Christianson got a fly ball to end the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth with one out Kristen Hoop completed the comeback for Redlands with a solo homerun to left field as the Maroon and Gray stole the first game.
Katelyn Downing (4-6), who stepped into the circle for the final 1.1 innings, was tagged with the loss. Christianson did not get a decision after tossing 7.0 innings, striking out one and allowing six runs.
Redlands (24-8, 20-2 SCIAC) was led by four hits apiece from Kristen Hoop, Lieva and AJ Carrasco. Kaitlyn Hoop (17-2) was the winning pitcher in the first game as one of three hurlers to work for UR and Courtney Lud (1-3) suffered the loss after working 5.0 innings in game two.
Cal Lutheran (18-12, 12-8 SCIAC) is back on the road tomorrow afternoon with a double header at Occidental. First pitch against the Tigers is slated for 12:00 p.m. at Bell Field.
Box Score: UR 7, CLU 6 – (9)
Box Score: CLU 2, UR 1
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