Lions, Broncos Split PCSC Opener
Santa Clara takes game one, Lions pounce back in second
April 5, 2008
Los Angeles, CA - LMU opened defense of its Pacific Coast Softball Conference title with a double header split with visiting Santa Clara Saturday at Smith Field. The Broncos (5-33, 1-1 PCSC) shocked the Lions with a 5-3 victory in game one but LMU (25-12, 1-1 PCSC) came alive with a 9-0, 5-inning victory in the second game.
It was a festive atmosphere as the Lions were presented with their 2007 PCSC Championship rings in a ceremony prior to the day's play. Things continued to go well in the third inning when junior Kirsten Slouber homered with two outs to put the Lions ahead 1-0. Freshman Amy Charpentier and sophomore Darcy Pagnini followed with back-to-back doubles to left to make it 2-0.
Sophomore Melissa Dykema (10-7) was cruising through the first five innings, allowing just three baserunners, but ran into trouble in the sixth as Santa Clara caught up to her with five runs. Jeanine Ruffoni led off with a double to center and Ashley Grove hit a grounder to third that LMU sophomore J.J. Hartung fielded and looked Ruffoni back to second before firing to first but her throw was late, putting runners on first and second with no outs. Dykema then walked Noelani Ho'opi'i to load the bases for Amanda Edmonson, who tied the game with a single. With runners on second and third and still no outs, Maggie Godfrey hit a shot to third that deflected off Hartung's glove but brought Ho'opi'i home with the go-ahead run. A run-scoring double from Jackie Morales and RBI single by Ashley Blier accounted for the Broncos' final two runs as they took over the lead, 5-2.
The Lions looked to strike right back in the bottom of the sixth and almost cut the lead to one when Pagnini launched a deep fly ball down the line in left. It cleared the fence for what could have been a two-run homer but the umpire ruled it foul. Pagnini returned to the batter's box and struck out. Still, the Lions would go on to load the bases with one out and made it 5-3 on junior Megan Ackerman's RBI fielder's choice. That would be the last of the rally, however, as the Lions stranded runners on first and third in the sixth and went down in order in the seventh.
Dykema was tagged with the loss after allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits. She walked two and struck out four. Morales (3-11) got the win, allowing three runs on seven hits with three strikeouts.
Charpentier finished game one 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored while junior Chelsie Tysdal also collected two hits.
Perhaps stung by the loss in their conference opener, LMU bounced right back by pounding the Broncos in game two. Senior Tiffany Pagano (15-5) tossed a two-hitter for her 11th consecutive PCSC victory and her seventh straight conference shutout at Smith Field.
Pagano got support from two runs in the second, three in the third, and four in the fourth. Ackerman's two-run homer in the second got the Lions on the board and they never looked back thanks to some clutch two-out hitting. In the third, they put two runners on with two outs for sophomore Christine Foley, who doubled both runners home for a 4-0 lead. Ackerman then knocked in her third run of the game with a single up the middle.
The Lions broke it open in the fourth with four runs after the first two batters were retired. Slouber got things going with a single up the middle and stole second. After Charpentier walked and Slouber advanced to third as the catcher threw the ball away in a failed pick off, Pagnini singled through the left side to bring home Slouber. Tysdal kept the inning alive with an RBI single of her own and another error allowed two more runners to come home.
Ackerman turned in a 3-for-3 effort with three RBI and a run scored. Foley reached in all three of her plate appearances, going 1-for-2 with two RBI and two runs scored as the Lions banged out eight hits.
Morales (3-12) took the loss, allowing five runs on four hits and two walks in three innings.
The Lions and Broncos continue the weekend series Sunday with another noon double header.