Petty Powers Up, But The Tigers Drop Two At The Stanford Louisville Slugger Classic

#8 Taylor Petty - Photo by: Sal Rivera
#8 Taylor Petty - Photo by: Sal Rivera

Stanford, Calif. - Finishing the second day of action at the Stanford Louisville Slugger Classic, the Pacific softball team suffered a pair of losses at the hands of Minnesota, 4-2, and Florida Gulf Coast, 8-5, on Saturday, Mar. 9. The losses dropped the Tigers to 14-10 on the year as Pacific fell in doubleheader action for the first time on the year.

Game 1
Minnesota 4 – Pacific 2

Looking to change their fate against the Gophers after a hard luck 1-0 loss the day before, the Tigers were overpowered in their retribution attempt, falling 4-2. Despite putting together seven hits against Sara Moulton, the winning pitcher from a day prior, the Tigers could not get the timely hits when needed missing early opportunities to jump ahead of Minnesota.

Leaving runners in scoring position in each of the first three innings, Pacific fell behind the Gophers after just one inning of play as Minnesota turned a leadoff double into the first run of the game. Two innings later, Tyler Walker, the owner of the opening double, made it 2-0 Gophers as she hit a one-out solo home run to center. Minnesota tacked on two more in the bottom of the fourth as the Gophers went deep for the second time in the game while again turning a double into a run for their final strike.

Offensively, Pacific tried its best to rally late, scoring a pair of runs in the top of the fifth as back-to-back singles. Starting the inning off the Tigers picked up singles from freshman Melanie Habib and senior Megan Allen, the second of which rolled all the way to the way on an error by the Gophers left fielder. Pacific would put the leadoff runner on in the sixth but come up empty, as they could not overcome the early deficit.

In the circle, junior Tori Shepard (3-2) suffered the loss as she lasted 3.0 innings while giving up five hits and was charged with all four runs. In relief, freshman Carly Mortensen finished the game while giving up two hits and striking out two. On the other side, Moulton grabbed her second win of the weekend against the Tigers as she pitched the complete game while giving up seven hits, two runs while striking out five.

Game 2
Florida Gulf Coast 8 – Pacific 5

Taking on the Eagles for the second time in as many days the Tigers could not replicate their results from Friday night as FGCU overcame a career game out of junior Taylor Petty to send Pacific down to defeat. Trying to bolster her team at the plate, Petty put together a 3-for-3 effort including blasting a pair of home runs while driving in all five of the Tigers' runs. Petty became just the ninth Tiger to hit two home runs in one game and the first since Nicole Matson accomplished the feat against UC Riverside on April 7, 2012.

For the Tigers, Petty struck for the first time in the top of the third as the junior launched a three-run shot to center, tying the game at 3-3. Coming back around in the fifth, Petty lifted a 1-1 pitch to left for a solo home run as Pacific tried to get back into the game. In the sixth, Petty struck again with a bases loaded single the notched the Tigers fifth and final run of the game.

Despite Petty's big game, the Tigers could not overcome the Eagles' attack as FGCU jumped on Pacific early and never let up. Matching Petty swing-for-swing, Chelsea Zgrabik finished her game with two hits in four at bats, but just as Petty went deep twice, so did the Eagle catcher. Her first home run put the Tigers' behind 3-0 in the first while her second, a solo home run, put the Tigers behind 8-3 in the fourth. Between Zgrabik's home runs, the Eagles notched four runs in the third in response to Pacific tying the game as a Tiger error, two hits, and a trio of free passes put Pacific in an insurmountable hole. 

In the circle, sophomore Dani Bonnet (2-5) suffered the loss as she went 2.1 innings while giving up five hits and seven runs, five of which were earned. Once again in relief, Mortensen went 3.2 innings while giving up one run on the home run by Zgrabik.

Pacific will look to rebound on Sunday, Mar. 10 when the Tigers take on the host and No. 18 ranked Stanford Cardinal. Game time is scheduled for 12:15 pm.