The University of Redlands softball team continued its busy slate of non-conference action on Monday by hosting the Saxons of Alfred University (NY) in an afternoon doubleheader. In a tale of two games, the Bulldogs struggled to counter the visitors' offense in a 3-10 loss but quickly rebounded to secure a 10-2 victory in five innings during the nightcap.
After Alfred jumped on the board with a single run in the opener, the Bulldogs immediately answered with a three-spot in the bottom of the frame. With two outs and two runners on, sophomore left-fielder Jaci Sanchez (Lakewood, CA) blasted a home run over the left-field fence for the Maroon and Gray's 3-1 lead.
However, the Saxons tacked on eight runs over the next two innings to create a significant uphill climb for the Bulldogs. Despite doubles from sophomore centerfielder Sam Rivas (Whittier, CA) and first-year first baseman Tyesen Gordon (Lathrop, CA), Redlands was unable to push another run across en route to the loss.
Nonetheless, the second game saw a role reversal between the teams, as Redlands scored eight over the first two frames for an early 8-0 lead. In the bottom of the first, Gordon connected on a double and then touched home on Sanchez's single up the middle. The Maroon and Gray kept rolling on offense for seven runs in the bottom of the second inning. With the bases loaded and two outs, Rivas threaded the needle on a perfectly-placed double down the left-field line for three runs. Gordon, Sanchez, and senior shortstop Jordyn Smith (Highland, CA) kept the inning alive with singles to the outfield, with Smith's hit to center field plating a pair of runs to cap off Redlands' lucrative outburst.
With junior pitcher Nicole Stanzione (San Marcos, CA) firing on all cylinders, she retired the side in two of the first three innings.
Although the Saxons scored two in the top of the fourth, Redlands put this one in the books with another two-out rally that began with first-year catcher Rani Lauwers (Mountain View, CA) and senior second baseman Julianne Rodriguez (Thousand Oaks, CA) belting infield singles to get on base. With poise and precision, Rivas stepped up to the plate to knock a single to left field for two RBI and the Bulldogs' 10-2 victory in five innings.
Rivas finished the second game with a 2-for-5 effort, five RBI, and one run scored.
Redlands (6-10) welcomes Manhattanville College (NY) to the Field of Dreams on Tuesday, March 12, for a 12 noon doubleheader against the Valiants.