IRVINE, Calif. –- There is a world of difference between a 6-6 record and one that is 2-10, and Azusa Pacific is enduring the frustration of such a world.
For the fourth time in a month, Azusa Pacific was forced into extra inning against a GSAC foe and came up short again, this time dropping the second game of a conference doubleheader at Concordia, 6-5 in 10 innings. The Eagles took the first game by a 6-2 count. Azusa Pacific has lost 4 extra-inning GSAC games this season, 2 of which required 10 innings of play.
With friends and neighbors from her nearby Dana Hills home in attendance, Cougar freshman pitcher Bre Anderson fashioned the finest outing of her young collegiate career, working 9 innings in the nightcap and surrendering just 1 earned run in the process. Yet it still wasn’t enough, as the Cougar defense failed behind her, committing miscues that allowed 3 runs to score, including a crucial one in the bottom of the ninth that tied the game again.
Concordia tallied a single run in the second inning and then used 3 straight 1-out singles to tie the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth and force extra innings.
Azusa Pacific re-took a 3-2 lead in the eighth on Justine Barnett’s 2-out, pinch-hit single to leftfield to score Bailey Blazek. However, Concordia answered with an equalizer with 2 outs in the bottom of the eighth to continue the game.
In the top of the ninth, Azusa Pacific took advantage of an Eagle error and a wild pitch to assume what seemed to be a comfortable 5-3 advantage. Again, Concordia answered, scoring 2 runs without the benefit of a hit but rather used a Cougar error to knot the game at 5-5.
After Azusa Pacific left a runner at third base in the top of the tenth, Concordia registered the game winner with no outs in the bottom of the tenth, parlaying a Cougar throwing error into the winning run.
Erin Halma faced just 1 batter and was the hard-luck loser, while Concordia’s Natalie Brown, who picked up the win in the first game, worked the final 3 innings of the nightcap to register another victory and move her record to 9-4 on the season.
In the first game, Concordia plated 4 runs in the first inning, using a pair of home runs to account for all the scoring in the frame. The Cougars appeared to have gotten out of the inning by yielding just a Caitlyn Senkbeil homer. However, a dropped third strike kept the inning going, and another error put a second Eagle on base before Brown slugged another home run to tally 3 unearned runs. That was more than enough for Brown, who fired a no-hitter through 4 innings and gave up a pair of meaningless runs in the sixth and seventh innings.
Carter went 3-for-8 on the day with 2 runs and 2 RBIs. Shimasaki was 2-for-4 in the first game and has now hit safely in 20 of 24 games this season, which includes 15 multi-hit games.
With the 2 victories, Concordia improves to 24-9 overall, 4-6 in the GSAC while Azusa Pacific falls to 10-16 overall, 2-10 in the GSAC.