Feb. 18, 2011
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - LMU avoided the rain and broke out the bats, opening the aTen Construction Tournament with a 9-4 victory over Rutgers on Friday in Riverside, Calif. Eight of the nine starters had at least one hit as the Lions (2-3) set an early-season high for runs and banged out 13 hits in support of sophomore Dana Waldusky's first win at LMU.
The Lions, who combined for nine runs in their four games in Long Beach on opening weekend, put up that many in the first five innings Friday thanks to four runs in the second and fifth. Sophomore Danielle Smith continued her torrid start to the season with a 3-for-3 effort while freshman Samantha Nelson drove in three runs before the rain hit later Friday afternoon.
It was Rutgers (0-2) who got off to the better start, chasing LMU sophomore starter Molly Medeiros with two runs in the first. An infield single, stolen base, walk, and wild pitch put runners on second and third with one out for Mandy Craig, who drove in the Scarlet Knights' first run. Following a strikeout and a walk, Rutgers executed a double steal to take a 2-0 lead.
Playing from behind has been nothing new for the Lions this year as they found themselves trailing for the fourth time in five games but that deficit was soon overcome thanks to a four-run second. Singles by sophomore Olivia Alvarez and senior Jennifer Nayudu and a walk by freshman Kathryn Dutton loaded the bases with no outs. Two batters later, Smith delivered her first hit of the game, a single that brought home Alvarez. Nelson followed with a fielder's choice to short that forced out Nayudu at third but allowed the tying run to scamper home. The Lions had the momentum and put Rutgers on the back foot, as back-to-back errors kept the inning alive and enabled two more runs to score.
LMU needed no help from the Rutgers defense in extending its lead in the third. Senior Amy Charpentier
doubled, moved to second on Smith's second hit of the game, and came in when Nelson beat out a single to short.
The Lions blew the game open with a four-run fifth. Charpentier again got things started with a one-out single and Smith completed her third career three-hit game with another single. Back-to-back doubles by Nelson and freshman Meghan Harman brought in three runs and junior Kelly Sarginson capped the outburst with a run-scoring single, her sixth two-out RBI of the season.
That was more than enough support for Waldusky (1-2), who had replaced Medeiros in the first and retired the first 15 batters she faced. Waldusky conceded just two runs on two hits, Brittney Lindley's solo home run in the sixth and Mikelyn Messina's leadoff homer in the seventh, while striking out five.
In addition to Smith's three-hit game, the Lions got two hits each from Nelson, Harman, and Charpentier. Smith and junior Sam Fischer, who had a leadoff double in the fourth, each extended their hitting streaks to three games.
Noelle Sisco (0-1) took the complete-game loss, allowing nine runs (seven earned) on 13 hits and walking two.
The Lions are hoping to avoid the rainstorm that hit Southern California late on Friday and get in their Saturday doubleheader with Minnesota. The teams are scheduled to play in Riverside at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.
- GO LIONS -