Shuster Homers Again, Lions Split DH With USD
Sterling Shuster hit a walk-off home run to give LMU a 3-1 win in game one, but San Diego rallied for a 6-3 win in the series finale Sunday at Smith Field.
April 28, 2013
LOS ANGELES - Sterling Shuster's home run heroics extended to a third straight game Sunday as the sophomore second baseman blasted a two-run, eighth-inning walk-off to give the LMU softball team a 3-1 win over PCSC rival San Diego. The Toreros rallied in the final game of the series, however, taking a 6-3 final from the Lions in the nightcap.
LMU moved to 30-21 on the season, marking the third straight season that the squad has reached 30 wins. The Lions are now 13-7 in PCSC play, still two games back from BYU (15-5) with four games remaining on the regular season schedule.
In the opener, Olivia Alvarez broke a scoreless tie with a lead-off solo home run to open the home half of the fifth.
The Torerors answered with an unearned run in the top of the sixth as Chloe Kaneko reached on a one-out fielding error by LMU's Stephanie Maciel and her pinch runner Kylie McNutt scored on a Lauren Tomey double to left. Looking to stretch the two-bagger into a triple, Tomey was thrown out at third on the play. Caitlin Rooney gave the Toreros another baserunner by drawing a four-pitch walk, but Mary Grabowski flew out to center to end the inning.
The Lions had a chance to score the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth, loading the bases on a Skylar Segura single and a pair of hit-by-pitches, but with one out, USD pitcher Cassidy Coleman drew back-to-back fly outs to end the rally.
San Diego took their turn loading the bases in the top of the eighth, but LMU hurler Sydney Gouveia won an eight-pitch battle with Grabowski with a swinging strikeout to end the inning.
That set up Shuster's game-winning heroics. With two outs and Harman on first base, Shuster sent the first pitch she faced over the left field fence, bringing her series home run total to four and her season total to six.
Gouveia (16-3) fanned 10, walked three and scattered four hits for one unearned run in eight complete innings.
San Diego's Coleman (12-12) took the loss despite striking out 10, walking just one and surrendering four hits.
While hits and runs were at a premium over the first three games of the series, the offense opened up in the final game Sunday as the Toreros broke out with 13 hits to score six runs. LMU collected a series-high six hits, but it would not be enough to rebound from an early 4-0 deficit.
After LMU's Dana Waldusky worked a quick four-batter first inning, USD put together four-run second inning on five hits and one Lion fielding error.
LMU got a pair of runs back in the bottom of the inning on a Hannah Montalban twi-RBI triple, but the Toreros added one more run in the third and one in the seventh. The Lions looked for one last rally in the seventh, pushing one run across the plate when Shuster reached on an error, but they would leave the bases loaded and not score again after that.
Waldusky (9-16) gave up nine hits for five runs (four earned) in three innings before giving way to Gouveia, who tossed the final four. The freshman fanned seven in the relief appearance.
LMU heads to cross-town rival UCLA for a single game Wednesday before closing out the regular season on May 4-5, hosting Utah Valley in a four-game series.