AZUSA, Calif. –- In every facet of the game California Baptist validated its position as the NAIA’s top-ranked team, rolling past Azusa Pacific, 9-1 and 11-0, in a Golden State Athletic Conference doubleheader Saturday afternoon at the Cougar Softball Complex.
Lancer pitchers Amy Thomas and Candice Thomas (sisters) dominated the Cougars all afternoon, limiting Azusa Pacific to just 6 hits in 41 plate appearances while striking out 12 Cougars and walking none. Amy registered her GSAC-leading 11th shutout of the season and was one bloop single away from her third no hitter of the campaign. Tami Carter’s fourth-inning Texas-leaguer fell between Lancer second baseman Sarah Hurlut and rightfielder Kelly Maconachy for the Cougars’ only base runner in the second game.
Meanwhile, the Lancer bats picked apart the Cougar pitchers for 22 hits, including 7 doubles, and 20 runs.
Cougar freshman hurler Erin Halma kept the Lancers’ powerful bats off-balance for the first 5 innings of the first game. The Lancers took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Shawna Rainwater scored on a 1-out double. They doubled their advantage in the fifth when Casandrah Carreon doubled down the rightfield line with 2 outs to score Geanie Jenkins from second base.
Some aggressive base running in the sixth produced 3 more runs for Lancers who tallied a pair of runs on throws to home plate and second base.
The Cougars’ only highlight of day came in the bottom of the sixth when with 1 out senior Courtney Cleaves doubled to the wall in leftfield and came home on Lori Shimasaki’s infield single that was thrown away for the lone Lancer error of the day.
Azusa Pacific had hoped to use sophomore pitcher Camille Hundley in the second game, however she was struck in the nose by a ball off the bat of Lancer Chantal Millard, the only batter she faced in relief in the first game, and was taken to the hospital with a broken nose.
In Hundley’s place, freshman pitcher Bre Anderson got the start and was tagged for 7 runs in just 1.1 innings of work, forcing Halma back into the circle. Halma quelled the storm, but the damage was done. The Lancers registered 4 more runs to end the game in the fifth inning.
Rainwater’s 2-out double down the rightfield line gave CBU a 3-0 lead in the first inning. In the second inning, 4 consecutive Lancer hits, including back-to-back doubles by Sara Goforth and Millard ignited a CBU outburst that put the Lancers’ up 9-0 after 2 innings.
That easily was more than enough for Amy Thomas, who retired 15 of the 16 Cougars she faced while picking up 21st victory of the season.
Millard finished the day 5-for-7 with 3 doubles and 3 runs scored. Nikki Lowe and Rainwater each had 3 hits for the doubleheader and Jenkins and Hurlbut each had 2 hits.
Carter paced the Cougar offense, accounting for 3 of the Cougars’ 6 hits on the day.
With the sweep, California Baptist improves to 42-2 on the season, 17-1 in the GSAC. Azusa Pacific falls to 13-21 overall, 3-15 in the GSAC.