Lions Drop Two to Conclude Non-Conference Play
Stephanie Maciel had four hits in the doubleheader, including a home run and two doubles.
LOS ANGELES - LMU Softball closed out the non-conference portion of the 2016 season Wednesday afternoon at Smith Field, dropping a doubleheader to Long Beach State by scores of 9-1 and 7-4.
The Lions now sit at 22-16 on the year. They will begin West Coast Conference play on Friday, April 8 at defending league champ, and preseason favorite, BYU.
Game one Wednesday against the 49ers began as a pitcher's duel as a solo home run by Stephanie Maciel in the first inning sat as the only run through three complete innings.
LBSU got on the board in the fourth on a ground out RBI by Alley Perkins. But the 49ers broke the game open over the next two innings, posting three runs in the fifth and five in the sixth.
The Lions attempted a sixth-inning rally, but, despite a pair of hits, could not plate a run and the game would end early due to the eight-run mercy rule.
Hannah Bandimere (11-8) took the loss after fanning four, walking three and giving up 10 hits for seven earned runs in 5.1 innings. Andy Wellins tossed the final 0.2 innings, surrendering two hits and two earned runs.
Meghan von Behren and Stephanie Maciel, the Lions' one and two batters, collected five of the team's seven hits. von Behren reached base twice with a pair of singles while Maciel went 3-for-4 with a home run and a double.
In the nightcap, LBSU jumped on starting pitcher Stephanie Crist (0-1) early, loading up two runs in the first and four in the second courtesy an LT Torres grand slam. Rachael Farrington entered in relief and scattered six hits for one earned run in six complete innings.
After suffering 11 strikeouts in game one, Head Coach Sami Strinz-Ward mixed up her lineup in game two. Lindsey Matoi went 2-for-3 as the only Lion with more than one hit. von Behren, Maciel, Aria Pogni, Rachel Williams, Amanda Dirks, Sterling Shuster and Alicia Brown all had one hit apiece.
A three-run third inning gave LMU some like as Maciel doubled in a run and Pogni addd a two-RBI double. But the Lions wouldn't score again until the seventh and, after scoring one unearned run, LBSU relief pitcher Skie Munoz closed out the win by getting three consecutive outs on a strikeout and two fly outs.
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