THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - Entering the day, the Cal Lutheran softball team was looking for its first win of the season. After a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) series against Redlands, the Regals walked off with a 5-4, 10-inning game one victory before earning a 7-6 win in the night cap today at Hutton Field.
CLU persevered today, winning its first two games of the season and evening its conference record at 2-2 while Redlands remained winless in league play. The Violet and Gold got production and contributions from numerous players, many times with their backs against the wall. The offense produced 16 total hits with four coming from freshman Brittany Workman who also earned her first career victory out of the circle in game two after tossing 3.1 innings and striking out four. Jacy Watanabe had three hits and scored four runs for the Regals while Olivia Leyva drove in four on the day. Abbi Howard called 14 innings behind the plate and was instrumental in the wins. Overall, Cal Lutheran played sound defense with just one error in 17 innings.
Redlands took a 2-0 first inning lead on a two-run homerun by Lali Harza after a fielding error allowed Amanda Ang to reach. The Regals cut their deficit in half on a sac fly by Leyvathat plated Workmanafter a leadoff single.
In the bottom of the third, Courtney Sooy helped her own cause with an RBI double to left field that scored Watanabewho singled up the middle earlier in the frame, knotting the teams at 2-2. Once Sooy stepped back on the rubber, she faced four Bulldogs.
The teams exchanged runs in the fifth with UR scoring on an RBI double while the Regals pushed Watanabe across aided by a Redlands throwing error that allowed the CLU centerfielder to slide into the plate.
Amanda Lewis flashed the leather for the second out in the top of the sixth, laying out for a ball, sending the bleachers into cheers. The Regals continued to showcase defense throughout the remainder of the contest.
After four innings of scoreless softball, including a run down between third and home that involved Mayhew, Howard, Leyva and Sooy, who ultimately applied the tag on a near diving play, the international tiebreaker rule went into effect. Evenly matched teams proved they were good opponents for one another. The Bulldogs struck first with a go-ahead run on a triple by Summer Smith that ricocheted off the wall when Lewis attempted to make a leaping catch. In response, Workman stroked an opposite field triple to score Mikaela Mayhew and moments later came in to score the winning run on a wild pitch.
Sooy (1-2) notched her first win of the spring by working a complete game, 10.0 innings, striking out three and allowing just one earned run. At the plate, Sooy, Watanabe and Workman each collected two hits while Watanabe and Workman each scored twice.
The second game was more of the same with the teams matching each other in the second innings. After UR plated two, CLU came back with a pair of runs as Mayhew connected for a double to bring in Makenna Pellerin and Lexie Findley who walked and reached on an error, respectively. CLU then took a lead in the bottom of the third. Watanabe beat out an infield single and moved up on a sacrifice and wild pitch before touching the plate on a Leyva single.
As quickly as the Regals got an advantage, the Bulldogs bit back with two on a double by Jennifer Ng. Fortunately for the home squad, it was s short lived deficit as Cal Lutheran batted around in the bottom of the fourth. A Workman triple to the right centerfield gap allowed Howardto scurry around the bases, score and tie the teams back up at 4-4. Leyva promptly drove in two more as Workman and Watanabe crossed the plate. A bloop single by Olivia Serrano pushed the lead to a comfortable 7-4
Although Redlands added two more in the final inning, the Regals walked away with the win.
Workman took the ball from Nicole White-Madolora in the fourth after the senior starter went 3.2 innings for CLU.
Cal Lutheran (2-4, 2-2 SCIAC) travels to Whittier tomorrow for a double-dip with the Poets in a rescheduled series after rain postponed the original date on Feb. 18. Teams will take the field at noon.
Box Score: CLU 5, UR 4
Box Score: CLU 7, UR 6
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