The University of Redlands softball team faced Manhattanville College (NY) in a pair of non-conference contests on Tuesday afternoon at the Field of Dreams. After dropping a 0-5 loss in the opener, the Bulldogs battled to extend the second game but suffered a 2-3 defeat in eight innings to the Valiants.
During the first game, Redlands struggled to find its offense, as the team registered only three hits through seven innings of action. First-year first baseman Tyesen Gordon (Lathrop, CA) went 2-for-3 at the plate, while first-year right fielder Hayley DiMase (Eastvale, CA) added a base knock.
After Manhattanville put up a four-spot in the second, senior pitcher Lindsey Mifsud (Belmont, CA) retired the side in order in three consecutive innings. The Valiants managed one more run in the sixth but relied on their defense and pitching to keep Redlands off the board.
During the second game, the Bulldogs fought for offensive opportunities by pushing a runner to third on aggressive base-running but left her there on two occasions.
However, Manhattanville scored a single run in each the second and fifth frames for a 2-0 lead.
With junior pitcher Nicole Stanzione (San Marcos, CA) forcing outs, the Bulldogs remained in the hunt for a comeback. In the bottom of the seventh, Redlands rose to the occasion with a two-out rally to tie it up and force the eighth. After senior second baseman Julianne Rodriguez (Thousand Oaks, CA) gained a free pass, she made it all the way to third on sophomore centerfielder Sam Rivas' (Whittier, CA) single to shallow center field. With runners on second and third, Gordon sent a rocket up the middle for two RBI to knot it up. Junior left fielder Jaci Sanchez (Lakewood, CA) made great contact in the subsequent at-bat but the Manhattanville centerfielder snagged it for the final out.
While using the international tiebreaker, the Valiants began the eighth with a runner on second. They proceeded to move her over on a single and then brought her home on a sacrifice fly to earn a 3-2 lead.
With their backs against the wall again, the Bulldogs moved over their runner on DiMase's perfect sacrifice bunt. However, back-to-back groundouts left the Maroon and Gray on the losing end of this one.
Redlands (6-12, 2-6 SCIAC) strives to rebound on Saturday, March 16, when it returns to Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) action with a road doubleheader at Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. First pitch is set for 12 noon against the Regals.