The University of Redlands softball team took to the road for the first time this season and headed to Orange for a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) doubleheader against the Chapman University Panthers. Amidst a pair of opposite outcomes, the Bulldogs rallied to win the opening game in extra innings by a score of 8-4 before dropping the second in five innings, 6-14.
The first game saw Redlands give up three early runs before evening the tally over the second and third innings. Freshman designated player Nicole Stanzione (San Marcos, CA) put the Bulldogs on the board with her RBI-single, which followed singles by junior catcher Lali Garza (Granite Bay, CA) and junior first baseman Ursyla Baumgarten (Penngrove, CA). In the top of the third, the Bulldogs took advantage of a few wild pitches, before sophomore right-fielder Hayley Romo (Port Orchard, WA) blasted a bomb of a sacrifice fly to plate senior third baseman Summer Smith (Redlands, CA) from third. Baumgarten added an RBI-single in the subsequent at-bat to make it a 3-3 ball game.
The Redlands defense rallied behind sophomore pitcher Lindsey Mifsud (Belmont, CA), who limited the Panthers to no more than one hit in the second through sixth innings.
Meanwhile, Redlands tacked on another run in the top of the sixth to take a 4-3 lead, when senior center-fielder Amanda Ang (Santa Cruz, CA) roped a single to bring junior second baseman Elise Ramirez (Redlands, CA) home. Ramirez led off the inning with a hit-by-pitch before moving over on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore left-fielder Jennifer Ng (Pleasanton, CA) and a single by Smith.
Although Chapman mustered the tying run in the bottom of the seventh, Redlands held strong through the extra innings and secured the win in exciting fashion. With one out and a runner on base in the top of the 10th, Ng stepped up to the plate to launch a home run over the left-field fence for the Bulldogs' 6-4 lead. But the rally continued with a single each by junior short stop Shannon Skrzynski (Pomona, CA) and Ang, before Smith moved them over into scoring position on a deep fly-ball. Garza forced a Panther miscue, which led to two more runs and the eventual 8-4 victory.
Redlands came up with the necessary defense to close out the win, as Mifsud sat down three of the final four batters to keep the Panthers off the board. She pitched all 10 innings while fanning six batters for her third victory of the season.
Unfortunately for the Maroon and Gray, the tables turned in the second contest, as the Panthers rallied for big innings in the third and the fourth to secure the shortened-game victory.
Redlands put up four runs in the top of the second, as highlighted by Ang's triple that plated two runs. Skrzynski and sophomore pitcher Mika Imoto (Vista, CA) also tallied RBI for the Bulldogs.
The Maroon and Gray also mustered a two-spot in the top of the fifth off the bats of Garza and Romo, but it was not enough to overcome the deficit.
Overall, Ang led the Bulldog offense with a 5-for-9 showing that included two runs and three RBI. Garza went 3-for-7 on the day with two runs and one RBI.
Redlands (3-7, 1-3 SCIAC) heads to Cal Lutheran University on Saturday, March 4, for a 12 noon doubleheader against the Regals.