The University of Redlands softball team earned a sweep over the Bearcats of Willamette University (OR) in non-conference action on Tuesday at the Field of Dreams. In the first game, the Bulldogs put together a strong sixth inning to aid a 5-2 victory, while nine runs in the first frame of game two put them in control early for the 16-3 win.
After senior pitcher Lindsey Mifsud (Belmont, CA) retired the side with an efficient 1-2-3 inning to start the day, the Maroon and Gray used that momentum on offense in the bottom of the second. Junior left fielder Jaci Sanchez (Lakewood, CA) led off with a huge triple down the right-field line and quickly came home on sophomore third baseman Ryanna Curtis' (Upland, CA) double to center field.
The defense stepped up again in the bottom of the third, as sophomore centerfielder Sam Rivas (Whittier, CA) caught a pop fly and then threw out the Bearcats' runner going back to second for a sweet double-play to end the inning.
Although Willamette tied up the game in the top of the fifth, the Bulldogs answered with Rivas' RBI-double that plated senior second baseman Julianne Rodriguez (Thousand Oaks, CA) for the go-ahead run.
The Bulldogs put the game away in the sixth when Sanchez and first-year third baseman Jessica Torosian (Thousand Oaks, CA) each uncorked their second home runs of the season.
The Bearcats scored on a sacrifice fly in the seventh, but Mifsud ended her complete-game win with a strikeout in the team's 5-2 victory.
Sanchez went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI.
In game two, Redlands jumped on the scoreboard early with a season-high, nine runs in the first inning. After first-year first baseman Tyesen Gordon (Lathrop, CA) drove Rodriguez home with a single, the Bulldogs extended their lead with runs on three consecutive at-bats to build a 4-0 advantage. Back at the top of the lineup, Rodriguez knocked a bases-clearing triple over the head of the Bearcats' right fielder to make it 7-0. On the next play, senior shortstop Jordyn Smith (Highland, CA) also blasted a triple to the same spot to push across another run. Gordon capped off the nine-run inning with another RBI-single for the Maroon and Gray.
The Bulldogs carried that momentum into the second inning by loading bases in the first three at-bats and scoring on a fielder's choice and a walk. The Maroon and Gray continued to push runs across on a Smith single and a heads-up play from sophomore second baseman Desiree Moran (Bakersfield, CA) to extend the home team's lead to 13-0.
The Bulldogs stretched it to 14 runs by the end of the third but the Bearcats mustered two in the fourth and one in the fifth. Nonetheless, the Maroon and Gray gained a two-run single from senior pitcher/designated player Mika Imoto (Vista, CA) for the 16-3 win.
Imoto also earned the complete-game win from the circle while dispersing five hits and striking out six.
For the game, Smith provided a 3-for-4 showing at the plate to go along with two runs scored and two RBI. Rodriguez and Curtis each hit 2-for-2, while Rodriguez also registered three RBI and two runs.
Redlands (11-13, 5-7 SCIAC) jumps back into Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) action on Friday, March 29, against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges at the Softball Field of Dreams. The first pitch is set for 2 p.m.