May 3, 2008
Game One Box Score
Game Two Box Score
Moraga, CA - Head Coach Gary Ferrin recorded his 500th career victory and LMU moved back into first place in the Pacific Coast Softball Conference standings with a double header sweep at Saint Mary's Saturday afternoon. The Lions (37-17, 12-6 PCSC) won game one 6-1 to help Ferrin reach the historic milestone before completing the sweep, 5-3, to move past the Gaels (26-25, 11-7) atop the conference standings with two games to play.
The teams entered the day with the Gaels leading the PCSC by a game over the Lions and Sacramento State, with Portland State two games behind and the PCSC title up for grabs. Saturday sweeps by LMU, Sacramento State, and Portland State have put the Lions and Hornets in first place, a game ahead of the Gaels and Vikings. The Lions are assured of their second consecutive conference title, and fourth in six seasons, with a Sunday sweep but can still claim the championship should they split and either the Hornets or Vikings falter. Should Saint Mary's come back to take both games on Sunday, they would knock the Lions from title contention.
LMU came into Saturday's games with a tall order ahead of them but emitting the confidence that the Gaels would have to wrest the championship from their grasps. A six-run third inning showed that the Lions would not hand over their title without a fight. Junior Kirsten Slouber led off the inning with a single and went to second when freshman Amy Charpentier was hit by a pitch. Sophomore Darcy Pagnini followed with a single, one of her three hits in the game, to load the bases for junior Chelsie Tysdal. The league's RBI leader came through, delivering a double to left center that plated Slouber and Charpentier. Junior Megan Ackerman then walked to re-load the bases for pinch-hitting senior Tracy Cook. Cook's grounder to third forced Pagnini at home but kept the bases loaded with just one out. The Lions caught a break when pitcher Megan Galloway could not handle freshman Jennifer Nayudu's grounder, bringing home Tysdal to make it 3-0. Two batters later, junior MiaSarah Cesena dealt the knock-out blow with a bases-clearing double to left.
Saint Mary's struck back with a single run in the bottom of the third on Sadie Dolcini's RBI double but that would be all they would get off of senior Tiffany Pagano
. Pagano (22-10) did not allow a runner to reach third base the rest of the way as she snapped her personal two-game losing streak. Pagano overcame seven walks to toss a five-hitter, striking out four.
Pagnini finished 3-for-4 with a double, her 16th of the season, to move into a tie for second on the LMU single-season record list. Slouber had her usual two hits at the top of the order while sophomore J.J. Hartung also had a pair of singles.
Galloway (12-15) took the loss, allowing six runs (two earned) on 11 hits while walking two and striking out five.
The game one victory under their belts, LMU came out inspired with a run in the first inning of game two off an RBI groundout by Tysdal that scored Slouber, who had reached on an error. The Gaels came right back with a single in the bottom of the frame but Hartung's run-scoring double in the second gave the lead back to the visitors.
It remained 2-1 to LMU until the fifth inning, when the Gaels took their first lead of the day. Bronwyn Russell led off with a single and a hit batter and walk loaded the bases with one out. The Lions got the second out when Pagano, who had relieved starter sophomore Melissa Dykema in the fourth inning, got Sandra Ruezga to ground to second, forcing Russell at home. Kat Delpit then came through with a two-run single to center that made it 3-2.
Undeterred, the Lions responded with three runs in the top of the sixth. Ackerman got things going with a single and was sacrificed to second. Freshman Priscilla Satete moved her to third with a single, her third hit of the game, and both came home on Hartung's triple to right. Cesena kept her hot bat alive, knocking in Hartung with a single.
Pagano made it interesting in the seventh, retiring the first two batters before conceding three consecutive singles that loaded the bases. With the tying run on second, she caught Dolcini looking to end the game and catapult the Lions into first place.
Pagano (23-10) went the final four innings, allowing two runs on five hits. Dykema had allowed six hits and one run in the first three innings.
Satete recorded her second career three-hit game with a 3-for-3 effort in which she scored twice. Hartung again went 2-for-3, doubling and driving in three runs with her triple. Nayudu also had two hits for the second time in her career.
Maryanne Cronin (10-6) suffered the loss, allowing five runs (four earned) on 10 hits.
Ferrin's 500th victory, all at LMU, makes him the third coach from a PCSC school to attain the feat. Sacramento State's Kathy Strahan is the active conference leader, gaining her 701st career win today, although only 454 have come with the Hornets. Former Portland State skipper Teri Mariani finished her career with 663.
The teams conclude their season, and the race for the PCSC title, Sunday with a double header starting at noon.