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A Cause to Smile

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April 21, 2007
Gary Pine
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LA MIRADA, Calif. –- Natalie Mickelson and Tierney Burk each slugged home runs and pitcher Camille Hundley literally came off the mat to scatter 8 hits as Azusa Pacific picked up its first victory in 3 weeks, a 5-4 winover Biola to take the first game of a Golden State Athletic Conference doubleheader. Biola won the second game 7-0.

Burk crushed a 2-out, 2-run bomb to left field, her third round-tripper of the season, to give Azusa Pacific a 2-1 lead in the second inning. After Biola knotted the game in the bottom half of the inning, the Cougars took the lead for good in the top of the third when Tami Carter ripped a 2-out single up the middle to score Courtney Cleaves, who had opened the frame with a walk and stolen base.

Mickelson started the fourth with her team-leading fifth home run of the season, a monster blast over the centerfield wall that put the Cougars up 4-2 at the time.

Cleaves added an insurance run with a 2-out single to right-center that plated Burk.

The rest was up to Hundley, who just 2 days earlier thought her season was over after suffering a broken nose last week. However, the doctors gave her an “all clear” signal, and sophomore hurler took the circle today, battling through the Biola line-up, stranding 5 Eagles in scoring position while posting a 6 strikeouts, including a game-ender of Keena Levert.

In the second game, Biola peppered Cougar freshman pitcher Erin Halma, tagging her for 5 runs and 7 hits before chasing her after 4 innings of work. Fellow rookie pitcher Bre Anderson didn’t fare much better. In fact, Biola had runners in scoring position in every inning and tallied at least one run in each of the first 5 innings.

On the other hand, the Cougars couldn’t mount much of an offense against Eagle pitcher Emily Gray, who limited the Cougars to just 3 base runners in her 5 innings of work while striking out 4 Cougars.

On the day, Burk went 3-for-5 with 2 runs and 2 RBIs, while Cleaves went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Mickelson was 2-for-5.

With the split, Azusa Pacific snaps a 6-game losing streak and improves to 14-24 on the season, 4-18 in the GSAC. Biola moves to 30-12 overall, 10-10 in the GSAC.