Azusa Pacific Sweeps Opening Doubleheader

Azusa Pacific Sweeps Opening Doubleheader

Claremont, Calif. – Nicki Sprague was 6-for-6 in the doubleheader, helping to spoil a solid pitching debut from Pomona-Pitzer freshman Bianca Cockrell, as the Azusa Pacific softball team swept two games from the Sagehens on Saturday afternoon in the season opener for both teams at Pomona-Pitzer Softball Stadium.

Game scores were 3-1 in the opener and 8-0 in the nightcap (six innings), as Pomona-Pitzer opens the year with an 0-2 record, while Azusa Pacific starts out at 2-0.

In the opening game, freshman Cockrell had a strong debut, allowing just one earned run over seven innings, but took a tough luck loss as the Sagehens fell 3-1. Narissa Garcia allowed just one hit for Azusa Pacific, a leadoff double from senior Caitlyn Hynes (pictured) in the fourth. Senior Lauren Boden sacrificed her to third, and sophomore catcher Lindsay McCord hit a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 2-1 after the Cougars scored two unearned runs in the top half of the fourth.

The score held until there were two outs and nobody on in the top of the seventh. Leadoff hitter Desiree Chavez started a two-out rally with a single, stole second and came home on an RBI single from Katrina Oviedo to give Azusa Pacific an insurance run. Garcia then retired the side in order in bottom of the seventh to finish off the complete-game one-hitter.

The nightcap saw Azusa Pacific take a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on an RBI double from Nicki Sprague. The Sagehens loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom half, but freshman Sofia Baig had an unlucky break as she lined into a double play to end the threat. Pomona-Pitzer had two on in the second and a runner on third and one out in the third, but were unable to break through with the tying run, and the Cougars tacked on two insurance runs on a two-out error in the fourth to take a 3-0 lead.

Sprague had a two-run single in the fifth to break the game open, while Madison Hernandez ended up 4-for-4 in the nightcap. Hynes was 1-for-2 to finish the day 2-for-4, while senior center fielder Ashley Morello had the other hit for the Sagehens as Carly Xepoleas finished with a two-hit shutout.

Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action on Thursday when it hosts Lewis & Clark for a 3 p.m. game, before traveling to face Vanguard in a doubleheader on Saturday.