It was a home run derby Saturday at Smith Field as the Lions walked off twice to claim the sweep.
LOS ANGELES - Amanda Dirks launched a pair of home runs, including a walk-off in the bottom of the seventh, Alicia Brown added a third long ball and the LMU softball team clinched a 5-4 win over visiting Saint Mary's in the first game of a West Coast Conference doubleheader Saturday afternoon.
Dirks was also instrumental in the Lions' 9-8, 8-inning game-two victory, scoring the winning run on a walk-off RBI-single by Stephanie Crist in the eighth inning.
LMU moved to 24-26 overall and 6-5 in WCC play while Saint Mary's fell to 17-29 overall and 1-7 in the WCC.
As the wind blew out steadily all afternoon at Smith Field, LMU and Saint Mary's combined for 10 home runs on the day, including three by the Lions in the opener and seven total over the final four innings of game two.
The Gaels struck first in the first game of the day, scoring two unearned runs in the second and another unearned run in the third to take a 3-0 lead.
Dirks responded first for the Lions, blasting a two-run shot over the left field fence in the bottom of the fifth. Brown knotted the score at 3-3 with a solo shot in the sixth and Courtney Moore would provide the go-ahead, reaching on an error that allowed Alex Finie to score from third.
Saint Mary's tied the score at 4-4 in the top of the seventh on an RBI-single by Erica Musgrave. But Dirks responded once again in the final frame, launching a one-out, solo shot over the center-field fence for the walk-off victory.
The nightcap was a low scoring affair early as Saint Mary's took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third. The Gaels would make it 2-0 in the fifth on a solo home run - the first of four long balls for SMC in the game.
The Lions tied things up with a pair of unearned runs in the home half of the fifth before Saint Mary's exploded for four runs on six hits, including two homers, in the top of the sixth.
LMU had a bit of punch left in themselves as well, however, answering with four runs of their own, including a Sabrina Tebou two-RBI homer, knotting the score at 6-6 through six.
The Gaels' Loralie Fizpatrick launched her second home run of the game in the top of the seventh, and Finie answered right back in the seventh with a solo shot.
In the eighth, the Gaels went ahead briefly on an unearned run scored by Shannon Low. But the Lions would walk off for the second time in as many games. Stephanie Maciel would knot the score at 8-8 with a one-out solo home run, Dirks followed with a double to left center, advanced to third on a wild pitch and would score on Crist's single to center.
Rachael Farrington earned both wins in the circle for LMU, improving to 19-13 on the year. She tossed a complete-game victory in the opener and earned the win after three innings of relief in the nightcap.
The Lions and Gaels complete the three-game series Sunday at noon at Smith Field.
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