Stockton, Calif. - For the third time this season the Pacific softball team swept away its competition over the weekend as the Tigers won an 8-3 decision against Cal Poly on Sunday, April 29. The victory improved the Tigers record to 32- 16 overall and 11-4 in the Big West while the Mustangs fell to 12-31 on the year and 4-11 in conference play.
Looking to keep their foothold at the top of the Big West standings, the Tigers jumped out front of th Mustangs early in the afternoon and never looked back as junior Nikki Armagost led the way both at the plate and in the circle.
Offensively, Armagost finished her afternoon a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate, picking up hits in each of her first three at bats before walking in her final trip to the dish. In the first, Armagost was the only Tiger to record a hit. Despite that fact, Pacific was able to dent the plate twice in the inning. Outside of Armagost's single, the Tigers worked three walks, including a RBI walk to sophomore Kelsey Rodriguez, and hit a sacrifice fly to get on the board first in the contest.
Up two, the Tigers would give one run back in the top of the second inning when Armagost made her only mistake of the game to Mariah Cochiolo, a mistake that would cost the junior a bid for the shutout. Working the count to 3-2, Cochiolo was able to take the full count pitch over the left field fence to give the Mustangs their first run of the game and their only run against Armagost in the contest.
Despite not scoring in the second, the Tigers did see some history in the inning when junior Megan Hom slapped a single to right field with two outs in the inning. While the hit looked to be commonplace for the junior, the single to right was of historic proportions as it marked the 200th time in Hom's illustrious career the centerfielder had knocked out a hit. For Hom, the junior became just the ninth Tiger in Pacific program history to reach 200 hits in a career as she placed her name among the all-time greats.
After Hom made history in the second, in the third, sophomore Taylor Petty took back the run the Mustangs had grabbed an inning earlier by sending a 1-0 pitch to where the Mustangs could not catch it for her third home run of the season. The solo shot down the left field line stayed just inside of the foul pole and gave back Pacific the two run lead it had claimed in the first inning.
One inning later, Pacific began to break the game open as the Tigers added two more runs to their total when Hom singled up the middle and stole second to put herself into scoring position for the meat of Pacific's order. The hit, just like her previous strike, proved to be special once again as the junior became just the third Tiger to ever record 70 hits in a single campaign. With Hom ready to come home, Armagost laced a double off the fence in right to plate Hom and put the Tigers up 4-1. After senior Nicole Matson was intentionally walked for the second time in the game, Rodriguez made the Mustangs pay with a single up the middle that brought home Armagost and broke the game open.
Pacific would add three more runs in the sixth as the Tigers sent nine to the plate to pick up three hits while adding three walks to get their runs. In the inning, Rodriguez picked up another RBI walk after Matson was issued a free pass for the third time in the contest while Petty and junior Amy Moore delivered RBI singles to cap the run.
In the seventh, the Mustangs mounted a comeback, scoring two runs and loading the bases, but Pacific's seven run lead and a settling sophomore in Tori Shepard proved to be too much. In all, Armagost threw six innings against the Mustangs to earn her second win of the weekend. The junior gave up just two hits and one run while striking out five and walking one. For Shepard, the rough start to her one inning outing came to a calming end as she tossed a pair of strikeouts to end the inning and the game for Pacific.
Offensively, the Tigers racked up 11 hits in the game with Armagost recording three while Hom and Petty each grabbed two. Both Petty and Rodriguez were credited with three RBI in the victory.
Pacific will be back in action on Friday, May 4 when the Tigers kick off their final home weekend at Bill Simoni Field with a doubleheader against UC Davis. The Tigers and the Aggies will play their first game of the day at 1:00 pm.