Waco, Texas – Opening play at the Miken Classic hosted by Baylor, the Pacific softball team crushed Texas A&M-Corpus Christi en route to an 11-2 (5 inn.) victory on Friday, Feb. 15. The dominating effort was nearly a no-hitter for the Tigers pitching staff, but a controversial hit in the fourth inning kept senior Nikki Armagost from achieving the pitching feat. With the win the Tigers improved to 4-0 on the year.
Despite the lone hit relinquished in the contest, Armagost proved to be too much for the Islanders en route to her third and most dominating victory of the season. Armagost's day was not completely without its trouble, however, as Pacific's defense allowed a pair of runs to cross the plate in the fourth inning as the Tigers' committed its first error of the 2013 season. In addition to the error, the Tigers saw a collision in the outfield that allowed the one and only hit of the morning to go against their starter. The controversially scored hit put a runner in scoring position for the Islanders to start the inning. Along with a pair of walks, Pacific saw its shutout end and Armagost's 17.2-inning scoreless streak snapped as the Islanders plated to on a throwing error with two outs. In total, Armagost went 4.0 innings with three strikeouts, four walks, and a 3-0 record.
In relief of Armagost, freshman Carly Mortensen faced four batters in her collegiate debut, walking one while inducing a pair of ground balls and a pop up to end the game in the fifth inning.
Offensively, Pacific struck early against the Islanders as the seniors took care of business to tally the first run of the game. Struggling to find her offense through the first three games of the year, senior Megan Hom wasted no time setting the table for her Tigers as the centerfielder dropped the first pitch she saw just in front of the plate for the leadoff single. After moving to second on a sacrifice bunt, the Tigers picked up the big hit they needed in the inning from senior Amy Moore as she slashed a two-out single to left field to bring home Hom.
After just scratching the surface in the first, the Tigers blew the game wide open in the second inning as Pacific sent 12 to the plate, produced six hits and scored seven runs to go ahead 8-0. The big rally for the Tigers came after the opening out of the inning was made as the bottom of the order put runners on while the top cleaned them up. With the first run across on a wild pitch, the Tigers saw junior Megan Foglesong blast Pacific's first big fly of the morning, a three-run shot to deep left field.
Seeing four runs across and the bases back to empty, the Tigers began filling them up once again as junior Taylor Petty laced a single to right-center before stealing second to put a runner in scoring position for Armagost. With Petty two bases from scoring, Armagost went to left-center with a double to the wall to pick up her first RBI of the contest. Two batters later, it was freshman Nicole Zapotoczny doubling to the same spot to plate Armagost and give Pacific its sixth run of the inning. Not done and making up for just missing out on a bunt single to start the inning, senior Megan Allen made it seven in the inning with a single through the left-side to complete the onslaught.
With the game well out of reach, Pacific put what would be the finishing touches on the Islanders in the third with three more big runs. Just as Foglesong had done the inning prior, Armagost got into the fun as she belted her second three-run home of the season to drop another crooked number on the board. Armagost's opposite field home run came after Foglesong had singled to short with one out followed by a five-pitch walk to Petty.
Overall, the Tigers picked up 10 hits with eight of nine starters recording at least one in the game. Both Foglesong and Armagost went 2-for-2 in the game while Foglesong posting three RBI and Armagost tallying four RBI.
The Tigers will look to extend their opening-winning streak against the host Baylor Bears at 3:30 pm PST.