THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - Facing another tough Midwest team, the Cal Lutheran softball squad played a pair at Hutton Field against Denison (Ohio) in non-conference action, walking away with a 1-0 win in the early game before a 7-4 come-from-behind victory in the nightcap.
Scoreless softball unfolded for five and a half innings for the Regals and Big Red in game one. Both pitchers threw great complete games, forcing numerous popups and weak ground balls, as the teams exchanged four hits apiece.
CLU senior Courtney Sooy (3-3) struck out two and did not allow a run, evening her season mark. Facing a bases loaded jam in the top of the third, Sooy got in on cleanup hitter Lauren Secaras and got a foul popup to end the threat. Sarah Herold (2-1) was tagged with her first loss of the spring after throwing all 6.0 innings, striking out nine and allowing one run on four hits. Two of the four CLU hits were for extra bases.
Olivia Leyva sparked a two-out rally in the bottom of the sixth, lining a triple to the warning track in right field before Sooy helped her own cause by poking an RBI single to right field, breaking up the shutout, and driving in the ultimate game-winner. Sooy also found grass in the bottom of the second and legged out a double for the first CLU hit of the day, but she was stranded, as she went 2-for-2 at the plate. Abbigael Howard had the other hit with a single in the fifth and also drew a leadoff walk in the third. Mikaela Mayhew layed down a pair of sacrifice bunts for the Regals in the win.
Defense was solid for CLU. Mayhewmade a diving stop at second base to end the first frame. Amanda Lewis went a long way to run down a fly ball in left field in the third and nearly doubled off a runner at second base and almost made another diving catch in foul ground later in the game. Jacy Watanabe made a catch against the centerfield wall to end the top of the sixth.
In game two, Olivia Serrano (1-2) got the start, and worked 6.1 innings, striking out two, scattering 10 hits and surrendering four runs in her first collegiate victory. Nicole White-Madolora came in to record the final two outs and earn the save, her first of the spring.
Denison put up a crooked number in the top of the second when Lindsey Clemson drove in two on a double to the left centerfield gap to take a 2-0 lead. The teams then exchanged runs in the third and the Big Red added a fourth run in the fourth.
In the bottom of the fifth, Brittany Workman stroked a double to the left centerfield gap and Rapisardi drove in the run with her second RBI of the game, cutting the deficit in half at 4-2. An inning later CLU exploded for five runs as the Regals batted around. A trio of walks, including a bases loaded free-pass for pinch hitter Alyssa Anderson,coupled with a go-ahead two-RBI double by Lexie Findley and a two-RBI single from Workman one batter later gave the home team a comfortable advantage.
The leather continued to shine for Cal Lutheran. Antonia Rapisardi made a play deep in the hole at shortstop, throwing across her body to get the runner at first to end the fourth inning. She went on to make another great play for an unassisted out and ended the fifth on a fielder's choice flip to Mayhew. The Regals played flawless defense in game two.
Denison (7-3) was led by Clemson (2-for-3), Herold (2-for-3) and Laura Bagan (2-for-4) as Clemson drove in two and Herold scored once with Bagan crossing the plate twice. Erin Laswell (2-1) got a no decision after 5.0 innings in which she allowed three runs and struck out two. Taryn Welch (2-1) was tagged with the loss after allowing four runs on three walks and one hit without recording an out.
Cal Lutheran (5-9) returns to Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play tomorrow, Saturday, March 18 with two against Occidental beginning at noon.
Box Score: CLU 1, DU 0
Box Score: CLU 7, DU 4
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