April 20, 2008
Game One Box Score
Game Two Box Score
Los Angeles, CA - LMU reclaimed sole possession of the Pacific Coast Softball Conference lead, taking both games Sunday over Sacramento State to sweep the four-game series at Smith Field. The Lions (33-15, 8-4 PCSC) got tremendous output from its two seniors to win 8-6 and 4-2 over the Hornets (24-19, 6-6 PCSC) in the final home games of the season.
The Lions had honored their two graduating seniors, Tracy Cook and Tiffany Pagano, prior to the day's play and both were instrumental in the day's victories. Cook went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored in game one and Pagano became LMU's all-time leader in wins by gaining the decision in game two.
The low-scoring pitchers' duels in Saturday's LMU sweep gave way to the long ball on Sunday. Junior Megan Ackerman homered twice in the opener, including her second career grand slam, and junior Darcy Pagnini also went yard to pace the Lions' attack.
LMU found itself trailing 1-0 after two walks and a sacrifice fly pushed across the first Hornet run in the second. The Lions bounced back with the long ball as Pagnini tied the game in the third with a one-out solo homer to left-center, her sixth of the year. After Cook, making her season debut, kept the inning alive with a two-out single to right, Ackerman put the Lions on top 3-1 with a two-run shot to right-center.
The Hornets replied with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame. After registering just one hit off sophomore Melissa Dykema through the first two innings, they broke through for four singles, including run-scoring knocks from Izmena Cabrera and Kayla Meeks, to tie it up at 3-3.
LMU reclaimed the lead in the top of the fourth. A single by Pagnini and walks to freshman Amy Charpentier
and junior Chelsie Tysdal
loaded the bases with two outs for Cook. The senior, who had been injured all season and was making her first appearance since it was Senior Day, came through with the go-ahead hit with a single to center. On the very next pitch, Ackerman dealt the biggest blow of the game with a grand slam, the second of her career, to put LMU ahead 8-3. Ackerman's home run was her third of the weekend, ninth of the season, and 19th of her career, moving her into fourth place on LMU's career list.
Neither starter was able to finish the job as the game was turned over to the bullpens in the fifth inning. Hornet starter Kayla Meeks was knocked out of the game in the fifth and Dykema followed suit for the Lions after allowing two runners to reach with one out in the fifth. On came Pagano, who walked the first batter she faced to load the bases. She then registered the second out as Teri Ann Coaogan grounded to third with the Lions forcing the lead runner at the plate. The Hornets kept coming as Jenice Bartee brought a run back with a slow chopper to the pitcher, just beating Pagano's throw as a run came home. Rachel Miles just missed tying the game, hitting a long fly to left that fell just foul, before ending the inning by grounding into a fielder's choice to third.
Still, Sacramento State was not done, pulling back to 8-6 in the sixth when sophomore J.J. Hartung threw away a grounder with two outs that allowed two unearned runs to score. In the seventh, Pagano retired the first two batters but walked Miles to bring the tying run to the plate in Whitney Loomis. She got Loomis to chop back to her to end the game.
Dykema (12-7) was credited with the win in 4 1/3 innings. She allowed four runs on six hits. Pagano went 2 2/3, giving up two unearned runs on two hits.
Meeks (11-8) took the loss after conceding eight runs and 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings. Clifford tossed a two-hitter over the final 2 2/3 innings.
Ackerman finished 3-for-3 with the two homers and six RBI. Charpentier, Pagnini, Cook, and junior MiaSarah Cesena each had two hits for the Lions.
Ackerman got the Lions going in game two, leading off a three-run second inning with a double. Sophomore Christine Foley brought her home with a single and freshman Priscilla Satete followed with a single of her own to knock Hornet starter Megan Schaefer from the game. Clifford came on in relief to record the inning's first out but junior Kirsten Slouber and Charpentier delivered back-to-back run-scoring singles to make it 3-0. The Lions added a run in the fifth when Tysdal doubled home Charpentier, who had singled earlier.
In the meantime, Pagano was cruising, taking a no-hitter into the fifth before Meeks' blooper dropped in for a hit. To that point, Pagano had retired ten in a row and faced just one over the minimum. Meeks' single opened the door for the Hornets, who went on to load the bases with no outs in the fifth. Pagano came back to get the next two outs without allowing a run but Amy Tompkins blooped a ball to left that Cesena dove to grab. The umpire ruled that it had bounced first and two runs came home. Pagano struck out Hilary Johnson to maintain LMU's two-run advantage.
Sacramento State had another chance in the sixth, putting the first two runners on with no outs and moving them to second and third with two outs. Again Pagano bore down, striking out Amanda Meyer to strand the tying run on second before retiring the side in order in the seventh.
In her final start at Smith Field Pagano (21-8) became the Lions' all-time wins leader with her 70th victory and third on the weekend. She struck out nine and walked two while allowing two runs and four hits.
Slouber bounced back from an 0-for-5 performance in game one to go 2-for-4 in the second contest for her 25th multi-hit game of the season. Tysdal was 2-for-3 and drove in her league-leading 42nd run.
Schaefer (3-4) took the loss, allowing three runs on five hits in one inning of work.
LMU, who opened the weekend in fourth place, takes over first place in the PCSC standings thanks to its sweep of Sacramento State and a split in the weekend series between Saint Mary's and Portland State. The Lions still have to face the latter two teams, traveling to Portland State next weekend and closing out the season at Saint Mary's May 3-4.