With little rest since its last doubleheader, the University of Redlands softball team made the trip to Thousand Oaks to face Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) opponent, Cal Lutheran University, on Saturday afternoon. Although the Bulldogs knocked out three more hits than the Regals, they came up short in two very close contests. Redlands battled in 10 innings for the second time in as many days but suffered a tight 4-5 loss, before a late-game rally fell short in the 6-7 decision during the night cap.
The Maroon and Gray got off to a good start in the opener, as junior catcher Lali Garza (Granite Bay, CA) stepped up with two outs to launch a deep home run to left field for an early 2-0 Bulldog lead. Earlier in the inning, senior center-fielder Amanda Ang (Santa Cruz, CA) found her way on base due to a home-team fielding error to set up the two-RBI blast.
Sophomore pitcher Lindsey Mifsud (Belmont, CA) entered the circle for the first time with a lead already in hand. Although Mifsud gave up a couple of singles and a fly-out for one RBI, she limited the damage by securing the third out via a strikeout.
After CLU scored the equalizer in the third, Redlands bounced back in the fifth by adding one run to overtake the lead once again. Sophomore left-fielder Jennifer Ng (Pleasanton, CA) drew a walk to get on base, which set up Ang's two-out double up the middle for the RBI.
However, the Regals followed suit in the fifth, adding one run on a costly Bulldog error.
With the score knotted at three, Mifsud continued to work from the circle and sat down three-straight batters in the seventh to send the game into extra innings. She repeated this effort by retiring the side in the eighth and ninth innings.
In the top of the 10th, junior short-stop Shannon Skrzynski (Pomona, CA) was placed on second base in the international tiebreaker rule. Senior third basemen Summer Smith (Redlands, CA) came up clutch by lining a triple to left field, which plated Skrzynski for the 4-3 advantage.
However, the Regals answered right back with a similar play. After placing a runner on second, their next batter tripled to tie it back up. Unfortunately for Redlands, Cal Lutheran's runner on third eventually snuck home for the winning run on a wild pitch, resulting in the tough 4-5 loss for the Bulldogs.
During the second game, Redlands came out firing with back-to-back singles, before junior catcher Olivia Vierra (Burlingame, CA) roped a double to right field to plate both runners for an early 2-0 lead.
But in familiar fashion, Cal Lutheran responded by plating two in the second and one in the third for a slight 3-2 advantage.
With the bases loaded in the fourth, Ng came up big time by hitting a double to plate junior short-stop Ursyla Baumgarten (Penngrove, CA) and senior left-fielder Marissa Romero (Manteca, CA) to make it a 4-3 ball game.
Unfortunately, Cal Lutheran's bats got hot in the fourth, as they tacked on four runs to turn the tables on the Bulldogs once again.
Freshman pitcher Nicole Stanzione (San Marcos, CA) lifted Imoto from the circle in the fourth inning to secure the third out. She took care of business in the sixth and seventh inning, by going three-up, three-down.
Still down by three in the top of the seventh, Redlands nearly completed the comeback with a two-spot. With two outs and the bases loaded, Stanzione stepped up to the plate and lined a single up the middle, allowing Smith and Ang to touch home. However, the Regals' pitcher regrouped and snagged the third out, resulting in the Bulldogs' second one-run loss of the day.
The Bulldogs (3-9, 1-5 SCIAC) look to return to the win column when they head to Occidental College on Saturday, March 11, for a 12 noon doubleheader against the Tigers.