The University of Redlands softball team earned a pair of important Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) wins on the road against Occidental College on Saturday. The Bulldogs used consistent hitting in their 8-4 win in the opener and then built an early lead to put the Tigers away, 9-5, in game two.
To begin the day, senior second baseman Julianne Rodriguez (Thousand Oaks, CA) used her speed to beat out the throw on her single to the shortstop and then stole second to get things going for the Bulldogs. Junior left fielder Jaci Sanchez (Lakewood, CA) brought her home on a double to center field for the first score of the game. After first-year right fielder Hayley DiMase (Eastvale, CA) moved Sanchez over on a bunt, first-year first baseman Tyesen Gordon (Lathrop, CA) uncorked the RBI singles for the Bulldogs' 2-0 lead.
However, the Tigers gained the advantage with a three-run inning in the bottom of the first.
In a repeat of the first frame, Rodriguez singled to the shortstop and proceeded to steal second. Sanchez sent her home once again on a single to left field, which tied the game at three runs apiece. DiMase continued to test the Oxy middle infielders with a single that brought in the Maroon and Gray's go-ahead run.
The Bulldogs continued to receive production from Sanchez, who unleashed a two-RBI double in the top of the fourth to extend their lead to 6-3.
Although the Tigers made up a run in their half inning, senior shortstop Jordyn Smith (Highland, CA) blasted a two-RBI dinger over the left-field fence to cement the Bulldogs' 8-4 victory.
Sanchez batted 1.000 on three hits for four RBI, while DiMase went 3-for-4 at the plate. Smith also impressed with a 2-for-3 clip and two runs scored.
Senior pitcher Lindsey Mifsud (Belmont, CA) worked through all seven innings from the circle to earn her fifth win of the season.
After the Bulldogs jumped on the Tigers with two runs in the first stanza of game two, senior pitcher Mika Imoto (Vista, CA) escaped a bases-loaded scenario in the bottom of the inning to keep Oxy off the board.
Following a two-run inning from Oxy, the Maroon and Gray bounced back with a big four-run rally in the top of the third. DiMase singled to center field, stole second, and then advanced to third. After Gordon's single on the next at-bat, senior catcher Nova Siegel (Fairfield, CA) hit a sacrifice bunt, which scored DiMase and advanced Gordon to second. On two consecutive passed balls, Gordon maneuvered her way to third and then home to increase the Bulldogs' advantage to three runs at 5-2. Redlands continued to control the plate by loading the bases before sophomore designated player Desiree Moran (Bakersfield, CA) made her way home on a walk. Rodriguez capped off a strong inning with a single to plate the Bulldogs' seventh run of the game.
Oxy came within three in the fourth inning, but Redlands put up a run in both the sixth and seventh innings to complete the sweep on a 9-5 victory.
Rivas orchestrated a 3-for-3 performance at the plate to go along with her two runs scored. Beyond her three hits, Rodriguez stole a base to become the current leader in the conference with 14 on the season.
Redlands (13-15, 7-9 SCIAC) returns home for another critical SCIAC doubleheader against the University of La Verne on Saturday, April 6, beginning at 12 p.m.