Regals Rally Past Berry in Win
CLU splits non-conference games
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Beneath beautiful blue skies at Hutton Field for a Monday matinee, Cal Lutheran hosted a pair of non-conference games against Berry (Ga.). The Regals took a lead in both games, but needed come-from-behind heroics to pull out a 3-2 victory in game two after falling 4-2 to the Vikings in the opener.
Shonna Christianson not only earned her first victory of the season in the circle, but she aided her own cause with a pair of runs and a hit from the leadoff spot. To open the game for CLU, she battled to a nine-pitch walk and came in to score on a ground ball by battery mate Shannon Tinsley.
The Regals strung together three hits in the second, but an inning ending 1-2-3 double play squashed the bases loaded threat as the home squad clung to a 1-0 lead.
Berry bounced back in the fourth with back-to-back-to-back hits to lead the inning off, though left fielder Katelyn Downing nearly made a diving catch on the second single of the inning. The third hit was a two-RBI double by Abby Daniels. A great catch in the outfield by Sakamoto was the first out of the inning before Christianson got Courtney Cauthen looking and a line drive to second baseman Ryanna Morua to end it.
Trailing 2-1 in the fifth, Christianson lead off with a double, followed by a Sakamotobunt single off the glove of a diving BC catcher to reach. She advanced when the Berry infielders were looking Christianson back to third. Brittany Labbe lifted a fly ball to center, plating the CLU pitcher to knot things at 2-2. Blake Lewis pinch hit and punched an RBI single through the middle to put CLU back on top, 3-2 as Sakamoto scored the ultimate winning run.
The defense stepped up in the top of the sixth with a line drive back at Christianson to start it and a diving stop by Morua at second for the second out of the frame. The inning ended with a called third strike.
In the top of the seventh the defense continued to shine in a game that saw no errors. After a leadoff single, Morua tossed the ball to shortstop Kelly Lockwood to cut down the runner at second. A line drive at Lockwood was the second out and the Regals nearly doubled off the Berry base runner at first, but she dove back just before the ball hit the glove of Christina Hunter. Unphased, Christianson forced a ground ball to Morua to end it.
Christianson (1-5) scattered 10 hits over 7.0 innings, allowing just two runs while striking out four.
Downing was responsible for three of the 11 CLU hits, going 3-for-3 in the game. Both Sakamoto and Morua collected a pair of hits as well. Seven different Regals connected for a hit in game two.
For Berry, Allison Coronado went 4.0 innings before Natalie Boyd (3-1) was tagged with her first loss of the season. Daniels was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs and Jessica Washington had a 3-for-4 game at the plate, though she scored no runs.
In game one, with runners at the corners in the top of the first a solid defensive effort for CLU stepped up and turned a 5-2-4-1 double play, tagging runners out at second and home to end the inning.
The Regals struck first in the bottom of the second when Morualifted a sacrifice fly to center, plating starting pitcher Downingwho walked to lead the inning off. Hunterlayed down a perfect bunt for a single and Labbesingled before Sakamotowalked to bring up Tinsleywith the bases loaded. When the fourth pitch of the at bat hit her in the knee Hunter crossed the plate.
In the top of the fourth the Vikings used a throwing error on a fielder’s choice and a bases clearing triple from Sara Vigue to take a 4-2 lead over CLU.
Downing (1-4) got 12 ground ball and eight fly ball outs and stepped up defensively with two putouts and an assist, including the tag of Washington at the plate to end the first.
CLU tallied five hits all coming from different players while Berry had four players with two hits apiece as they finished with nine. Cailee Shamoun (4-2) earned the complete game victory.
Overall today the Regals committed just two errors in 42 chances. Morua was busy at second base with eight putouts and eight assists. Hunter recorded nine putouts with a pair of assists. Downing and Sakamoto were each 3-for-5 with a run and Sakamoto drew two walks with Downing earning one. Downing and Labbe each swiped a base today as well. Morua batted .500 with a 2-for-4 day at the plate. Hunter and Tinsley were the other two players with multi-hit days for the Regals.
Cal Lutheran (2-12) will be back on Hutton Field Saturday, March 9 to host a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) doubleheader against Occidental beginning at 12:00 p.m.