Softball

Ides of March Sink Lions in Home Return

Junior Stephanie Hughes hit her first career home run vs. Wisconsin
Junior Stephanie Hughes hit her first career home run vs. Wisconsin

March 15, 2011

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LOS ANGELES - It was a rude homecoming for LMU as the Lions dropped both games in their first home appearances of the season Tuesday at the 2011 Marina International Hotel Showcase at Smith Field. The Lions (7-14) fell 4-1 to Harvard before dropping a 2-1 decision to Wisconsin.

The two games almost mirrored each other as LMU twice scored first on solo home runs, only to see their opponents come back for the victories. LMU pitchers gave up just 11 hits and four earned runs in the two games but did not receive much support from the offense, which mustered 11 hits and left 14 runners on base.

Harvard 4, LMU 1
In LMU's first home game of the season, junior Kelly Sarginson got the Lions off to a good start, depositing a her team-leading fourth home run of the season, a solo shot in the second inning into the netting beyond left field. It was Sarginson's 17th career home run, breaking a tie for 10th all-time at LMU.

The lead would not last, though, as the Crimson (7-4) responded with three runs, two unearned, in the top of the third. A walk and an error put the first two Harvard runners on for Ashley Heritage, who tied things up with a double down the leftfield line. Kasey Lange followed with a sacrifice fly and Stephanie Regan dribbled an RBI single up the middle to make it 3-1. Mariel Sena's solo home run to center in the fourth extended the lead to 4-1.

The Lions looked to make some noise but left a pair of runners on in the third, fifth, and seventh innings. In the fifth, back-to-back one-out singles by senior Jennifer Nayudu and sophomore Danielle Smith gave LMU runners at first and second. But senior Amy Charpentier's hard-hit liner was right at the leftfielder and junior Sam Fischer grounded into a fielder's choice to end the threat.

Fischer had one more chance to rally the Lions when she represented the tying run in the bottom of the seventh. Singles by Nayudu and Charpentier gave the Lions runners on first and second with two outs and brought up the Lions' leading RBI machine. Fischer got ahead in the count 3-1 but Lauren Ricciadone battled back, striking out Fischer swinging on a 3-2 pitch to end the game.

Ricciardone (1-1) went the distance, allowing the lone run on seven hits and three walks while striking out five. Sophomore Dana Waldusky (2-6) suffered the loss after giving up four runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks in a complete game seven-strikeout performance.

Charpentier, Sarginson, and Nayudu each had two hits for the Lions.

Wisconsin 2, LMU 1
For the second straight game, a solo home run put LMU on top as junior Stephanie Hughes, who had been hitless in her seven at-bats this season, crushed the first round-tripper of her career for a 1-0 advantage leading off in the third. Nayudu and Charpentier followed with singles to keep the inning going and Sarginson was intentionally walked to load the bases with one out. With a chance to blow the game open, junior Brittany Pereda lifted a fly ball to right and the runners tagged up. But Nayudu stopped halfway home and turned back, only to see Charpentier bearing down on third from second. As a result, Nayudu was caught in a rundown and tagged out to end the inning.

For the first five innings, sophomore Molly Medeiros was cruising, limiting the Badgers (10-7) to three hits before she ran into trouble in the top of the sixth. After retiring the first two batters, Medeiros gave up a single through the left side to Karla Powell, then a first-pitch opposite-field home run to Shannel Blackshear that put Wisconsin in front 2-1.

As outstanding as Medeiros (4-3) was, giving up five hits and striking out seven, Meghan McIntosh (3-6) was just as good, allowing just one hit over the final four innings in a complete-game five-hitter. Nayudu was 1-for-3 with a walk to extend her hitting streak to seven games.

The Marina International Hotel Showcase continues on Wednesday with a trio of games. Wisconsin and Northern Colorado get things underway at 11 a.m., with the Lions getting a rematch with the Badgers at 1 p.m. The day concludes with Northern Colorado vs. North Dakota at 3 p.m.

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