Redlands Softball Unable to Complete Sweep of Pacific Lutheran
The University of Redlands softball team split a non-conference doubleheader with Pacific Lutheran University (WA) Wednesday afternoon at the Softball "Field of Dreams" in Redlands, winning the first game, 8-5, before falling, 0-4, in the nightcap.
Redlands depended on strong hitting in the twinbill's front end, collecting 11 base knocks in the victory.
The Bulldogs pushed one across in the bottom of the first, but the Lutes answered back an inning-and-a-half later with two runs off of a two-out, two-run home run.
Two defensive mistakes allowed the Maroon and Gray to recapture the lead in the fourth. Sophomore rightfielder/pitcher Breanna Ruelas (Brawley, CA) drove the first run of the frame in when she reached on a fielding error by the pitcher, and sophomore second baseman Molly Duran (Corona, CA) followed suit with an RBI single up the middle in the ensuing at bat. A single by freshman shortstop Kirsten Milliner (Torrance, CA) plated Ruelas later on in the stanza, giving Redlands the 4-2 edge through four.
A sacrifice fly by sophomore third baseman Lindsay Henry (Lake Elsinore, CA) ignited a four-run rally in the sixth. Senior catcher Nicky Neumann (Fremont, CA) ripped a two-run triple after Henry drove in the inning's first run, which set the stage for an RBI single by junior first baseman Lizett Casillas (Pomona, CA).
Pacific Lutheran made it interesting in the top of the seventh, as Stacey Hagensen lifted a three-run shot over the right-centerfield wall with two outs. The Bulldogs, however, retired the next batter to secure the game-one triumph.
Senior pitcher Olivia Ellis (Colfax, CA) hurled the full seven and earned the win. She yielded five runs, three of which were earned, off eight hits while striking out four.
Hagensen was handed the loss after accounting for eight runs, five of which were earned, off 11 hits. She also fanned two Redlands batters.
Casillas, Milliner and Neumann each had stellar performances at the dish. Casillas and Milliner batted 3-for-4 and 3-for-3, respectively, with one RBI apiece, while Neumann plated three and scored once off two hits.
Pacific Lutheran's attack was led by Hagensen, Kaely Cuthill and Monti Califano, all of whom contributed two hits.
Redlands could not solve the Lutes in the nightcap, as errors and offensive woes doomed the Maroon and Gray.
The Bulldogs made four defensive miscues, which led to two unearned runs.
Lauren Watson's two-run single in the first foreshadowed the outcome, as Redlands would never make a serious run at the Lutes from that point forward. Pacific Lutheran added one in the second and cushioned its advantage with one more in the fifth.
Ruelas sustained the loss despite a respectable game in the circle. She allowed four runs, two of which were earned, off seven hits and three walks in seven innings of work. Ruelas also struck out three.
Ramona Lorton tossed a gem for the Lutes, yielding a mere four hits in a complete-game shutout.
Senior centerfielder Kayla Peterson (San Jose, CA), Milliner, Neumann and freshman leftfielder Sarah Beeman (Corona, CA) all offered a hit toward the Bulldogs' final tally.
Six different Lutes connected on base hits, with Lorton spearheading the offense's production with a 2-for-3 effort.
Redlands (17-8, 11-1 SCIAC) hopes to rebound tomorrow when it hosts the University of St. Thomas (MN) in a non-conference bout at 4:30 p.m.