No. 13 Bulldog Softball Pushes past Birmingham-Southern in First-Round Action of the NCAA Championships
The 13th-ranked University of Redlands softball team exploded for four runs in the second inning to prevail in a tight 6-4 victory over Birmingham-Southern College (AL) during Friday's NCAA Regional contest at the University of Tyler-Texas. After giving up three runs in the top of the second, the Bulldogs answered with a four-run outburst in the bottom of the inning en route to the first-round victory.
Redlands initiated the scoring in the bottom of the first when sophomore right-fielder Amanda Lievanos (Anaheim, CA) connected on an RBI-single to plate junior center-fielder Sarah Beeman (Corona, CA), who led off with a walk.
Birmingham-Southern responded in the second stanza with a homer by freshman Taylor Bassett and then took advantage of back-to-back errors by the Maroon and Gray infield to pull ahead, 3-1.
However, the Bulldogs put together a four-run effort in the bottom of the inning, highlighted by senior first baseman Rikki Scates' (Redlands, CA) single to right that pushed across Beeman and junior second baseman Arlene Martinez (Corona, CA).
Panther freshman pitcher/designated player Bethany Fronk made it a 4-5 ballgame when she ripped off a run-scoring single with two outs in the fourth.
However, senior third baseman Molly Duran (Corona, CA) provided an insurance run for the Bulldogs in the fifth frame, bringing home freshman short stop Linda Park (Torrance, CA), who had doubled to right field.
Nonetheless, the Panthers refused to go away and managed to move the tying runs into scoring position on two occasions. During the final inning, Birmingham-Southern loaded the bases with one out but junior pitcher Kayla Uphold (Fontana, CA) stepped up for the Maroon and Gray, forcing a foul-out and ground-out to secure her 20th win of the season.
Redlands put up 12 hits, compared to eight by the opponents.
Fronk led the Panthers with a 3-for-4, two-RBI performance at the plate. But she absorbed the loss after just one-and-two-thirds innings of work. Senior pitcher Ronni Ferris provided a solid effort in the remaining innings, giving up just one run on six hits.
The Bulldogs (32-11) return to action on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. PST to face No. 4 Pacific Lutheran University (WA), which defeated Huntingdon College (AL) by a score of 8-0 in five innings earlier today.