The University of Redlands softball team hosted the Hiram College (OH) Terriers on Thursday at the Field of Dreams in a non-conference doubleheader. The Bulldogs looked sharp in the opening game and captured an 8-3 win but suffered a 4-6 heartbreaker in the nightcap.
After the Terriers jumped on the board in the first frame, the Maroon and Gray answered with a two-hit, one-run showing in the bottom. With two outs, first-year first baseman Tyesen Gordon (Lathrop, CA) blasted a triple to right field, which set up first-year third baseman Jessica Torosian's (Thousand Oaks, CA) RBI-single.
The Bulldogs settled in nicely, with senior pitcher Lindsey Mifsud (Belmont, CA) gaining great support from her defense. She retired the side in order in the second inning and then needed only four batters for three outs in the third.
In the bottom of the third stanza, Redlands' offense tacked on three runs by capitalizing on Hiram's miscues for the home team's 4-1 lead. With one out and two runners on, the Maroon and Gray sent three runs home on senior shortstop Jordyn Smith's (Highland, CA) sacrifice fly and the Terriers' costly error.
Mifsud continued to sit down Hiram in an efficient matter with a three-up, three-down top-of-the-fourth.
The Bulldogs extended their lead to 6-1 with another two-out rally that began off the bat of Gordon, who hit a rocket to center field to plate senior second baseman Julianne Rodriguez (Thousand Oaks, CA) from second. After Torosian's single through the left side, first-year right fielder Kayla Rivas (Whittier, CA) found space in the grass for a single that allowed Gordon to come home from second.
Although the Terriers put up a pair of runs in the top of the fifth, the Maroon and Gray answered with a single run in each of the next two frames for the 8-3 win. With two outs in the sixth, K. Rivas doubled to right center for the final RBI.
Gordon and Torosian each finished with three hits and an RBI, while Gordon scored three runs as well.
Mifsud earned the win after four solid innings. Junior pitcher Nicole Stanzione (San Marcos, CA) threw three frames for the save.
Redlands went back to work in game two and recovered from a one-run deficit with three runs over the third and fourth innings. After K. Rivas stole home on a gutsy play, sophomore centerfielder Sam Rivas (Whittier, CA) knocked an RBI-single to center field, while first-year catcher Rani Lauwers' (Mountain View, CA) groundout to second allowed Rodriguez to touch home for the Bulldogs' 3-1 lead.
As each team scored once over the next two innings, the Bulldogs looked to first-year outfielder Hayley DiMase (Eastvale, CA) to trade places with Rodriguez on back-to-back doubles.
Unfortunately, the Terriers put up a crooked number in the top of the seventh to steal the 6-4 win.
Redlands (5-7) faces Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) foe, No. 14 Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, on Saturday, March 9, at 12 noon at the Field of Dreams. Saturday is also Community Day, as the Bulldogs invite area softball players to attend the games.