The University of Redlands softball team welcomed the Cal Lutheran University Regals to the Field of Dreams for a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) doubleheader. On a warm Saturday afternoon, the Bulldogs took game one, 3-1, before falling in an extremely tight, 5-6 decision.
Junior pitcher Lindsey Mifsud (Belmont, CA) entered the circle for game one. Despite giving up one run on two hits and a Redlands mistake, her offense backed her by putting up three runs in the bottom of the third. After one out, junior third baseman Julianne Rodriguez (Thousand Oaks, CA) laced a single down the left-field line and subsequently stole second. Senior second baseman Shannon Skrzynski (Pomona, CA) knocked a base hit for the game-tying RBI. After another baserunner advanced on a wild pitch, senior catcher Lali Garza (Granite Bay, CA) dinged a long single to left center for two RBI and a 3-1 Redlands lead.
After Mifsud got into a nice rhythm, she and the Bulldog defense rolled through the rest of Cal Lutheran's lineup. With three strikeouts on the day, Mifsud recorded her sixth complete game of the season.
With hopes of earning the season sweep over CLU, the Bulldogs looked to Mifsud to continue dealing in the nightcap. Redlands hopped on the board in the bottom of the first on singles from Skrzynski and senior first baseman Olivia Vierra (Burlingame, CA) for an early, 1-0 Redlands lead.
However, the Regals came right back by adding three runs on four hits in the top of the second.
Nonetheless, Redlands fought back to tie it up at three apiece in the bottom of the fourth. After an out, first-year center fielder Samantha Rivas (Whittier, CA) went yard to close the gap to 2-3. Junior right fielder Jennifer Ng (Pleasanton, CA) kept things rolling by uncorking a single through the 3-4 hole before making her way to second on a groundout. Ng touched home on first-year left fielder Desiree Moran's (Bakersfield, CA) single to right center to tie things at three.
Junior pitcher Mika Imoto (Vista, CA) entered the circle in the third and was dealing quick at-bats in the third and fourth innings. After the Bulldogs recorded two quick outs in the fifth, a close call by the umpire at second allowed the Regals' inning to continue and resulted in three runs on two hits to put Redlands in a 3-6 hole.
After one out in the bottom of the sixth, Ng, junior second baseman Jordyn Smith (Highland, CA), and Moran knocked three singles in a row. Moran headed home on Rodriguez's subsequent fielder' choice to edge closer at 4-6.
With time running out on the Bulldogs, senior designated player Elise Ramirez (Redlands, CA) raked a two-out, solo shot over the left-field fence for her first home run in a Bulldog uniform. Despite a subsequent walk, Redlands could not bring her all the way around and fell in close, 5-6 decision.
Following commencement, the Bulldogs (15-21, 10-14 SCIAC) will continue SCIAC action with a conference doubleheader at Chapman University on Friday, April 27, at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.