The University of Redlands softball team bounced back to split a pair of games against Occidental College in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) opener on Saturday afternoon at the Field of Dreams. In the first game, the Maroon and Gray faced an early deficit that led to a 1-7 loss before rallying for a dominant 6-1 victory in game two.
In the first game, the Bulldogs endured a rough start that resulted in a five-run deficit after two innings. In the third frame, first-year third baseman Jessica Torosian (Thousand Oaks, CA) made up a run with an explosive home run to make it 1-5. Unfortunately, the Tigers scored another two runs in the ensuing innings to earn a game-one victory.
The Bulldogs successfully regrouped between games and shited the momentum into their favor, as first-year first baseman Tyesen Gordon (Lathrop, CA) blasted a single to center field to bring home junior designated hitter Jaci Sanchez (Lakewood, CA) and senior catcher Nova Siegel (Fairfield, CA) for a quick 2-0 advantage.
Despite giving up a run in the second inning, the Bulldogs looked to Torosian to drop a double into right-center field that brought in the home team's third run of the game.
After the Maroon and Gray locked down with a three-up-three-down inning in the fourth, Siegel singled to right field to earn an RBI and help Redlands take a 4-1 lead. With two outs, Torosian doubled down the left-field line for two RBI to put the game away at 6-1.
The Bulldogs' defense continued to step up with three consecutive clean innings, as the Tigers mustered only a late single in the top of the seventh.
Sanchez enjoyed a strong game at the plate with a 3-for-3 performance, while Siegel also stepped up by going 3-for-4 with two runs and an RBI. In addition, Torosian and first-year right-fielder Rani Lauwers (Mountain View, CA) each supplied a pair of hits.
In the circle, senior pitcher Mika Imoto (Vista, CA) fanned two Tigers and gave up only two hits and one run in a strong showing as the starter.
Redlands (3-3, 1-1 SCIAC) hits the road for the first time this season for a SCIAC doubleheader against the University of La Verne on Saturday, February 23. The first pitch is set for 12 noon.