Six Home Runs Highlight Bulldog Softball’s Explosive Sweep of Oxy in Season Finale

Shannon Skrzysnki blasted three home runs in the Bulldogs' doubleheader sweep of Occidental on Saturday (photo credit: Hugh Rose).
Shannon Skrzysnki blasted three home runs in the Bulldogs' doubleheader sweep of Occidental on Saturday (photo credit: Hugh Rose).

The University of Redlands softball team traveled to Eagle Rock on Saturday to complete the 2015 season with a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) doubleheader against the Occidental College Tigers.  While knowing the postseason was no longer a possibility, the Bulldogs left it all on the field with a powerful display of offense in a pair of high-scoring wins, 10-2 and 12-10.  As a team, the Maroon and Gray launched six home runs, with freshman short stop Shannon Skrzynski (Pomona, CA) blasting three over the fence in a stellar performance.

During the opener, Redlands used a 10-run third inning to take control of the game.  Skrzynski initiated the offensive outburst with a leadoff home run, before junior third baseman Addie Oeleis (Temecula, CA) uncorked her second-career dinger just one batter later. 

But the Bulldogs were far from done, as junior first baseman Vicki King (Thousand Oaks, CA) decided to join in on the fun by firing off a home run of her own with a runner on for the Maroon and Gray's 4-2 lead. 

But, there was more to come, as Skrzynski stepped up to the dish for a two-out grand slam in her second at-bat of the inning. She plated senior designated player Aisha Salami (Gardena, CA), Oeleis, and junior left-fielder Grace Rose (Villa Park, CA).

After graduate student right-fielder Amanda Lievanos (Anaheim, CA) capped off the incredible inning with a two-RBI single to right field, the Bulldogs sat comfortably in front at 10-2.

Strangely, neither team scored another run from that point on in game one.

Junior pitcher Lauren Henson (Highland, CA) recorded her 15th win of the season, while sophomore hurler Casey Maltz (Palo Alto, CA) provided two scoreless frames to close out the contest.

The second game demanded that Redlands rally for big, late-inning runs to secure the 12-10 victory over the Tigers.  The Bulldogs built a 7-4 lead with a pair of home runs in the top of the fifth, as Skrzynski blasted her third dinger of the day and freshman catcher Lali Garza (Granite Bay, CA) recorded her first long ball in a Maroon and Gray uniform.

However, the Tigers rallied to score six in the bottom of the frame to take a 10-7 lead.

But the Bulldogs dug deep and managed to come up with more big hits in an impressive display during the top of the sixth frame.  King connected on a two-RBI-double to left field, bringing home junior center-fielder AJ Carrasco (Whittier, CA) and freshman pinch-hitter Beverlee Valerio (Monrovia, CA).  Redlands took advantage of the Tigers' pitching woes, as Oeleis scored on a wild pitch and King touched home on a passed ball.  Garza capped off the integral inning with an RBI-single to center field, putting the Bulldogs up by a score of 12-10.

Henson grabbed another win on the day after relieving sophomore Courtney Ludlow (Petaluma, CA) in the fifth and eventually getting out of a bases-loaded jam.  During her final two frames, she held the Tigers scoreless and hitless.

The Bulldogs' season comes to a close with a 19-21 overall record and a 17-19 SCIAC mark, placing them fifth in the conference standings.