April 11, 2012

Tigers Salvage A Split With Santa Clara

Stockton, Calif. – Despite a stunning display of power by the visiting Santa Clara Broncos, the Tigers managed to salvage a split at home in a night doubleheader on Wednesday, April 11.  Rallying late in game one, the Tigers took a 6-5 win to begin the night before falling 4-0 in game two.  The split moved the Tigers to 25-14 on the year while Broncos improved to 8-32. 

Game One

Washing away their rough start when a midgame rain hit Bill Simoni Field, the Tigers used new life to pick up the comeback victory over the Broncos in the first half of the doubleheader.  Trailing 5-1 after just two innings, the Tigers put together yet another signature late-game comeback as Pacific rallied for five runs over the last four innings including a walk-off single in the 7th for the win.

Tied at 5-5 in the bottom of the seventh, Pacific picked up the big hit it had been looking for all evening when sophomore Taylor Petty stepped to the plate with a runner on second and jut one out in the inning.  Pinch-hitting for her first at bat of the game, Petty delivered a sharp single back up the middle to bring home freshman Kamalei Pitoy from second as the freshman beat a throw from center to score the game-winning run.  Pitoy was on second after running for senior Alexa Rivera who had lead the inning off with a walk.  Pitoy then advanced into scoring position when junior Amy Moore sacrificed herself with a perfectly placed bunt just in front of the plate. 

For Moore, the sacrifice proved even bigger as the junior was 2-for-3 in the game including blasting a game-tying home run just two innings prior to knot the game at 5-5.  With two aboard and one-out in the inning, Moore crushed a 1-0 pitch over the fence in centerfield to put Pacific back in the game.  Prior to the big bomb from Moore, the Tigers picked up single runs in both the first and fourth innings as Pacific's top two hitters, juniors Nikki Armagost and Megan Hom each delivered RBI singles. 

On the other side of the ball, the Tigers found themselves in a deep early hole as the Broncos flexed their muscles early and often to the tune of three solo home runs.  Beginning the game, Alyssa Jepsen and Jamie Wallis went back-to-back against sophomore Tori Shepard to put two runs on the board in the first.  In the second, Stephanie Fisher followed their lead with a leadoff solo home run of her own before the Broncos pushed across two more in the frame to put Pacific behind 5-1 just one and a half innings into the contest.

In relief, freshman Dani Bonnet quieted the noisy bats of the Broncos as she came into the contest in relief of Shepard in the top of the second inning with the bases loaded.  In 5.2 innings of work, Bonnet gave up just two hits and was charged with no runs while striking out two to improve to 8-5 on the year.

Game Two

Just as the Broncos had done in the first game of the night, Santa Clara jumped on Pacific early in game two with single runs in the first, fourth, fifth and sixth innings, but this time did not allow the Tigers back into the game.  In the first, a leadoff single turned into a run when Breezy Bernard doubled into the gap in left-center. 

In the fourth, Fisher came up with her second big hit of the night as the designated player sent a 1-0 pitch over the right field fence to begin the inning.  One inning later, Kelly Scribner got in on the power display as the first baseman sent a 2-0, two-out, pitch over the fence in left-center to put Pacific down 3-0.  In the sixth, Jordan Newell sent the sixth solo shot of the night over the left field fence to put Pacific in a four run hole.  All three of the Broncos' home runs came with two outs in the inning.

For the Tigers, the offense came up just short all game as Pacific sent its own shots to the fences, three in all, including two from Moore, only to see the efforts come up just short of pay dirt.  In all, the Tigers managed just two hits in the game with hits coming from Hom and Foglesong. 

In the circle, Armagost gave up just five hits but saw three leave the yard as she fell to 8-5 on the year.  Her counterpart, Carissa Theis, stymied a hot-hitting Pacific offense for seven full innings to improve to 3- 8 on the season.

The shutout was just the second of the year pitched against the Tigers and the first suffered at home in 2012.

The Tigers will look to get back on track when they reenter the fray of Big West play on Saturday, April 14 with a doubleheader against Cal State Fullerton.  The first of the day is scheduled for 12:00 pm.