THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.— That's one way to end a season! On Senior Day, Meghan Henry pitched a complete game shutout in the first game, then Kendall Marinesi tied the single season home run record to start the second, senior Rachel Barker delivered a clutch hit to tie game two in the bottom of the seventh and Catherine Slabaugh walked it off as Cal Lutheran softball swept Occidental, 7-0 and 10-9.
The lone senior on the team, Barker, had an emotional day at the ball park. In her final at bat with the Regals, Barker hit a RBI double to center and tied the game at 9, which helped the Regals come from two runs down in the final inning. She recorded four hits, one RBI, one run and one walk in her last collegiate doubleheader.
Marinesi finished her junior campaign with 12 homeruns. She hit her final home run to lead off game two, a line drive off the left foul pole. She tied the CLU single season home run record which Emily Robertson set in 2008.
Henry was on fire from the bump. In game one, she threw seven scoreless innings, only giving up four hits, as she recorded the complete game shutout. Her impressive pitching did not stop there as she was brought in for the seventh inning of game two. She kept her spotless inning-streak alive and got her second win of the day after the walk off.
Not to be overshadowed, Slabaugh showed some heroics of her own. With the second game tied at 9 in the bottom of the seventh, and runners on the corners, she came up with a clutch RBI single and gave the Regals a walk off to end the season. It is her second walk off hit of the year. She also had a walk off single on March 10 against Whittier.
The offense came from all over the lineup throughout the doubleheader. Courtney Haapanen showed out and produced two RBI in each game, while Celeste Ekman added four more, with three being in game one, and Lexie Findley added two in game two.
On top of all the offense, the defense shined as well. The outfield, Mia Onesto, Lauren Salvati and Marissa Alfaia came up with big play after big play as they helped preserve the shutout in game one and the comeback in game two.
On the infield, the Regals combined for two double plays started by Marinesi and Ekman. The turn from Slabaugh sealed the deal as she threw the ball to Barker for two more highlight reels.
After a scoreless first for the Regal defense, Ekman recorded a 2 RBI single and gave CLU the early lead. Henry took over from there. She induced 13 ground balls, including three to end the game. She struck out three Tigers as she kept their bats silent.
Cal Lutheran got her more run support, just in case she needed it, in the bottom of the sixth. Ekman added her third RBI of the game to get things going. After CLU scored due to an error, Haapanen drove in 2 RBI with a double to left center. Another Tiger error had CLU up 7-0 and the Regals closed out the game in the top of the seventh.
The Regals came out looking for a blowout in game two. Marinesi started hot and hit a home run to open the scoring. Ekman added a RBI single a few batter later and an error by the Tigers added two more runs.
Oxy was quick to answer this game and tied the score at 4 in the top half of the second. CLU took the lead back in the bottom half of the inning as Haapanen singled through the right side, scoring two runs. The Regals added one more run and took a 7-4 lead in the fourth as Slabaugh hit a RBI double to left center.
The Tigers would not go away and put up five runs in the top of the sixth and took a 9-7 lead.
After a scoreless sixth for the Regals, it all came down to the bottom of the seventh. Onesto doubled to start the inning and Marinesi drove her home and advanced to second on the throw.
A few plays later, with two outs and Salvati on second, Barker stepped up to the plate. The senior delivered the game-tying run as she doubled to left center. Ekman pushed the game winning run to third after a single through the left side which brought up Slabaugh. She ended Cal Lutheran's season with a 10-9 win as she singled through the right side.
The Regals ended 2019 on a three-game win streak as they said goodbye to their lone senior. Cal Lutheran finished the year 12-28 overall and 6-22 in conference play.
Box Score: CLU 7, OXY 0; CLU 10, OXY 9
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Release by Ryan Jorgenson, Sports Information Director