Pagano Pitches LMU to PCSC Lead
Lions sweep Sac State 2-1 and 1-0
April 19, 2008
Los Angeles, CA - LMU moved into a tie atop the Pacific Coast Softball Conference standings, sweeping league leaders Sacramento State 2-1 and 1-0 at Smith Field behind complete games in each contest from senior Tiffany Pagano. The Lions (31-15, 6-4) reach the 30-win mark for the ninth time in the last ten seasons and pull even with the Hornets (24-17, 6-4 PCSC) atop the PCSC.
Sacramento State entered the game as the top-scoring team in the league at 5.6 runs per game but had no answer for Pagano, who conceded just nine hits and one run on the day. In doing so, she improved to 20-8 on the season to reach 20 victories for the second straight season and move into a tie for the LMU career wins record with 69, alongside Jennifer Heliotes (1999-2002). She also established a new LMU single-season strikeout record, finishing the day with 14 K's for 241 this year.
In game one, Pagano struck out 10 and junior Megan Ackerman's solo home run in the fourth proved the difference in the 2-1 victory. Pagano, who started the day tied for the LMU single-season strikeout record, wasted no time in establishing the new mark as she recorded seven of the first nine outs via the punchout. Her only blemish was Izmena Cabrera's solo home run in the fourth.
LMU scored the game's first run in the second on freshman Priscilla Satete's sharp single through the right side that plated junior Chelsie Tysdal. Tysdal had led off the inning with a walk, was bunted to second, and advanced to third on a wild pitch.
Sophomore Darcy Pagnini's double in the third put runners on second and third for the Lions but they were unable to advance further. After Cabrera tied the game at one with her solo home run in the fourth, Ackerman answered right back in the bottom of the frame. Ackerman had just missed a home run foul on a fast ball, but adjusted on the next pitch, waiting on a changeup and depositing over the fence in left for her seventh homer of the season.
The Hornets would put runners in scoring position in both the fifth and sixth but Pagano worked her way out of each jam. In the seventh, they had runners on first and second with one out before Pagano closed the door by retiring the final two batters.
Pagano registered double-digit strikeouts for the 10th time this season and 22nd time in her illustrious career. She issued two walks. Junior Kirsten Slouber was the only Lion with more than one hit, going 2-for-3.
Former Lion Kayla Meeks (11-7) took the loss, allowing two runs on five hits in the complete game.
Pagano kept at it in the second game, holding the Hornets to four hits and taking advantage of some fortuitous help in the third inning. With the game scoreless, Sacramento State loaded the bases with two outs via two hits and a walk. Pagano fell behind Cabrera 3-0 but battled back to 3-2 before catching a break when Jamie Schloredt, the runner at first, was called out for leaving early in an attempt to get a jump on the play.
That opened the door for the Lions to score the game's only run in the bottom of the third. With one out, Slouber tripled to right-center and freshman Amy Charpentier followed with an RBI single down the leftfield line. Pagano allowed just one batter to reach second the rest of the way, striking out the final two batters for her tenth shutout of the season.
Pagano allowed four hits and three walks while striking out four in the second game. Hornet starter Megan Schaefer (3-3) went the distance, allowing one run on five hits and two walks. Slouber again went 2-for-3, doubling and tripling for her two hits.
LMU's double header sweep, combined with the split of the double header between Saint Mary's and Portland State, allowed the Lions to move into a tie with all three teams atop the standings at 6-4. The Lions and Hornets will play another double header Sunday at noon in the final home games of LMU's season. The games will be preceded by a Senior Day Ceremony that will honor LMU seniors Tiffany Pagano and Tracy Cook.