The University of Redlands softball team made the trek to Whittier College on Friday afternoon for a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) doubleheader against the Poets. In another split showing, the Bulldogs hammered out 13 hits en route to an 11-3 win in the opener before dropping the nightcap in a role-reversal for the 2-11 result.
After Whittier scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the first, the Bulldogs immediately responded when senior third baseman Summer Smith (Redlands, CA) blasted a lead-off home run to cut the deficit in half.
As sophomore pitcher Lindsey Mifsud (Belmont, CA) settled into a nice groove, the Bulldog defense provided excellent support in the bottom of the second. It was three up and three down with three fly-outs for an efficient outing.
In the top of the third, the Redlands bats lit up the scoreboard with five hits and five runs. Senior left fielder Marissa Romero (Manteca, CA) initiated the productive inning with her lead-off single to right field. She and senior centerfielder Amanda Ang (Santa Cruz, CA) eventually touched home on a double by junior second baseman Shannon Skrzynski (Pomona, CA). Junior shortstop Ursyla Baumgarten's (Penngrove, CA) single plated Skrzynski for the third run of the inning. One batter later, Baumgarten was in scoring position at third base, which allowed Smith to send her home on a double. Sophomore designated player Mika Imoto (Vista, CA) capped off the team's offensive outburst with an RBI-single to give Redlands a 6-2 lead.
Although the Poets scored one in the bottom of the fifth, the Bulldogs went right back to work in the top of the sixth. With another five-hit, five-run effort, the Maroon and Gray blew it open for the win. After Romero tripled to start the frame, Ang provided the RBI in the subsequent at-bat. An error and two hits later, the Bulldogs had the bases loaded for Smith, but the Poets walked her for another run. Junior first baseman Olivia Vierra (Burlingame, CA) and sophomore right fielder Hayley Romo (Port Orchard, WA) joined the hit parade with singles for three runs between them.
Now leading 11-3, the Bulldogs worked to close out the game in six innings with quality pitching from Mifsud.
Smith led the offensive display with a 2-for-3 effort with three RBI and three runs.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, the tables were turned in game two of the doubleheader.
After Whittier scored an early run, Redlands answered with an RBI-single by Smith in the top of the third.
But the Poets' offense remained hot with three lucrative frames.
Redlands mustered another run in the sixth inning, which began with sophomore first baseman Lali Garza's (Granit Bay, CA) lead-off single. After Smith drew the walk, she made her way to third to set up Romo's RBI-single to right field. Unfortunately, the rally ended there, resulting in the tough loss for the Bulldogs.
Redlands (13-19, 9-11 SCIAC) returns home to the Field of Dreams on Saturday, April 15, to face Cal Lutheran University in a SCIAC twin bill. The first pitch is set for 12 noon.