FULLERTON, Calif. – LMU went 1-1 on the first day of the Cal State Fullerton Titan Classic, losing to Pittsburgh 4-1 in the morning and then earning a 3-2 win over UC Riverside in the afternoon on Friday. This marked the first competition for the Lions (1-1) this season.
In the first matchup, LMU got on the board first in the third inning as Irma Sanchez scored on the RBI from Andrea Gonzalez who singled to right field. This would be the only run scored by the Lions in the contest.
Pitt bounced back quickly, as Erin Hershman homered to center field, (2 RBI), scoring along with pinch-runner Marissa DeMatteo to give the Panthers a 2-1 lead. The Panthers went on to score again in the fifth and sixth innings, including another homerun in the sixth by McKayla Taylor to reach the final score of 4-1.
Junior pitcher Hannah Bandimere earned the win in game two of the day, with four strikeouts and three consecutive three up, three down innings from the fourth to the sixth. The Lions once again got on the board first as Irma Sanchez scored on a wild pitch in the opening inning, but UC Riverside quickly answered, scoring two runs of their own to finish out the first. These would be the only two runs for the Highlanders in the contest.
Maddison Flores scored again for the Lions in the third on an RBI from Lindsey Matoi, and LMU scored its final run of the day in the fifth as Sanchez doubled to left field, getting the RBI as Sabrina Tebou scored on the play. LMU held strong with solid defensive innings late in the game and went on to win 3-2.
“Overall I’m pleased with our pitching and defense,” Lions head coach Sami Strinz-Ward said. “They are going to keep us in games this year. I am really happy about the way we grinded out that second game. Our bats aren’t where they need to be or where they will be, but we still found a way to get that W. I loved the way Irma swung it that second game. I’m eager for our offense to show what we are capable of moving forward.”
LMU is back in action at the Titan Classic tomorrow when it takes on Utah State at 3 p.m. The Lions then face Pittsburgh again (10 a.m.) and Cal State Fullerton (12:30 p.m.) on Sunday to finish out the tournament.
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