THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. - In the final non-conference series of the spring, the Cal Lutheran softball team welcomed National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) No. 19 Williams (Mass.) to Hutton Field where the Regals defeated the Ephs 7-6 in eight innings before the Ephs defeated the Regals 5-3 in nine innings under cloudy skies with patches of sun on a cool Wednesday afternoon.
The teams split the series, each winning an extra inning game. Cal Lutheran temporarily spoiled a homecoming for many of the WC players as nine of the 18 on the roster hail from California with a pair from very local in Moorpark and Simi Valley. In the nightcap, Williams got the best of CLU.
In game one, Williams jumped out to a quick 2-0 advantage on a leadoff triple by Jessica Kim followed by an RBI single from Lexi Curt and a run-scoring double later in the frame. In the bottom of the inning, CLU erased the deficit as Olivia Leyva crossed the plate after leading off with a walk and Amanda Lewis broke out of a slump with a two-RBI double that scored Courtney Sooy and pinch runner Catherine Slabaugh to put the home squad ahead 3-2.
The Regals added to their tally in the third when Makenna Pellerin plated Sooy who reached on an error and Brittany Workman drove in Pellerin with a single to right field for a 5-2 lead. Leyva tacked on another with a solo homerun in the fourth to push the gap to 6-2.
In the top of the sixth inning, the Ephs collected four hits, all doubles, to score four times and knot the teams at 6-6.
With the international tiebreaker in place, Williams' half of the inning ended on a rare infraction call for leaving the base while the ball was in the circle. Cal Lutheran capitalized in the bottom half as pinch hitter Alyssa Anderson poked a game-winning single up the middle to score Antonia Rapisardi.
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Sooy improved to 5-3 in the circle after tossing a complete 8.0 inning game and striking out two. She also flashed the leather in the top of the fourth, assisting on two of the three outs including a blazing comebacker to end the inning and put the sixth inning in the books by snagging a comeback line drive. Mikaela Mayhew, Rapisardiand Pellerin turned a great double play in the top of the fifth with Pellerin picking a ball out of the dirt to record the second out.
Mackenzie Murphy (0-2) was tagged with the loss after 2.2 innings. Rebecca Duncan got the start and went 3.1 innings before handing the ball to Emma Corbett who threw 1.2 scoreless innings. Five of the seven CLU runs were unearned. Williams collected 10 hits with two apiece from four different players.
Both teams collected 10 hits with four players notching two hits apiece for Williams while nine different players for CLU recorded a hit with Sooy earning two. The six WC runs came from as many players and Leyva and Sooy each scored twice for the Violet and Gold and Lewis drove in two.
Game two was faster with a cleaner scoreboard through most of regulation. The Regals took a lead in the bottom of the third after Leyva singled and Sooy drove her in with a double. The score remained 1-0 until the sixth when Sooy doubled to start things off and Lewis earned an RBI single to double the score. Pellerin and Slabaugh each singled in the inning, but CLU left the bases loaded.
A two-run cushion was not enough for the Regals who surrendered two runs in the top of the seventh, though both were unearned.
Another extra inning affair saw the teams exchange runs in the eighth. Lewis lifted a sacrifice fly to score Sooy who started the inning on second base after pitcher Olivia Serrano layed down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move the senior designated player up 60 feet.
Williams posted a pair in the top of the ninth, the first on a triple off the centerfield wall from Kristina Alvarado and the second on an errant throw.
CLU was unable to produce anything else as the game went final. The Regals outhit the Ephs 11-7 with Pellerin going 3-for-4 and Leyva, Slabaugh and Sooy finishing with two hits apiece.
Serrano (1-3) went a complete 9.0 inning game, striking out four and allowing just one earned run on seven hits.
Williams (4-4) looked to Duncan (2-2) for the win after taking the ball in the middle of the sixth and going the final 3.2 innings. Riley Slavo started and the duo did not issue a walk. Alvarado finished with two of the hits as the only player with a multi-hit game for WC in the second of the series.
Cal Lutheran (7-11) returns to Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) play for the remainder of the season on Saturday, March 25 when the Regals welcome Claremont-Mudd-Scripps for two beginning at noon on Hutton Field.
Box Score: CLU 7, WIL 6 (8 innings)
Box Score: WIL 5, CLU 3 (8 innings)
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