Under the direction of first-year Head Coach Jose Ortega, the University of Redlands softball team enjoyed a victorious opening day by sweeping the Loggers of the University of Puget Sound (WA) by scores of 10-1 in five innings and 3-1. Despite the rain delay to start Saturday's action, the Bulldogs blasted 16 hits for a team batting average of .364 in the solid showing.
Senior pitcher Lindsey Mifsud (Belmont, CA) entered the circle for the Maroon and Gray and quickly sat down three of the first four batters.
Redlands showed patience at the plate by registering five walks in the bottom of the first inning and ultimately nabbed a 5-0 lead. With the bases loaded, first-year third baseman Jessica Torosian (Thousand Oaks, CA) tallied a sacrifice fly to send junior left-fielder Jaci Sanchez (Lakewood, CA) home. On the same play, senior shortstop Jordyn Smith (Highland, CA) forced the defense into a pickle that allowed first-year right-fielder Hayley DiMase (Eastvale, CA) to also cross the plate.
Redlands kept pushing offensively for a 7-0 lead through two frames. Sanchez led off the bottom of the inning with a double, which set up Torosian's RBI-single up the middle. Torosian eventually came home for the Bulldogs' second run of the stanza.
With Mifsud limiting the Loggers' scoring chances, the Maroon and Gray tacked on three more runs, as highlighted by Smith's first home run of her Bulldog career, which came with Sanchez on first.
Although UPS scored one run late in the game, Redlands' five-inning decision was never in question.
Mifsud completed the game with four strikeouts and gave up only four hits in a fine showing.
Although game two was much closer, Redlands gained the same result with a 3-1 victory. With junior pitcher Nicole Stanzione (San Marcos, CA) hitting her spots, the Bulldog defense backed her with a first-inning double-play. The Maroon and Gray carried the momentum into the bottom of the inning by loading the bases for a walk-in run. Sanchez and Smith each registered singles in the process.
As a quality pitchers' duel continued, neither team could push any other runs across. They both worked to utilize bunts and stolen bases but to no avail.
However, in the bottom of the sixth, Redlands gained a pair of insurance runs off RBI-singles from DiMase and Sanchez. These scoring opportunities were set up by senior catcher Nova Siegel's (Fairfield, CA) leadoff single and sophomore first baseman Ryanna Curtis' (Upland, CA) sacrifice bunt.
UPS managed to score once in the top of the seventh but Redlands closed it out with stellar defense and strong pitching. Stanzione earned the win through 4.2 innings of work while Mifsud stepped back in to get the save.
Overall, Sanchez and Torosian each went 3-for-6 at the plate, and combined for three RBI on the day.
Redlands (2-0) faces in-region opponent, Whitworth University (WA) on Monday, February 11, for an 11 a.m. doubleheader on the Field of Dreams.