After taking 2 nail biters from Azusa Pacific in the “Canyon City” 2 weeks ago, including a controversial nightcap, the southern Cougars proved their talent by taking 2 more from the northern Cougars today, blanking Azusa Pacific by scores of 4-0 and 2-0.
The sweep pushes Cal State Marcos’ record to 12-6 on the season, while Azusa Pacific falls to 6-5.
San Marcos pitchers Chanel Rose, Melissa Lerno and Brenna Sanderberg teamed together to post the first shutout sweep of Azusa Pacific since the NAIA’s top-ranked California Baptist University did the same thing to Azusa Pacific last year on March 13. The trio of San Marcos pitchers limited Azusa Pacific to just 9 hits on the day while striking out 12 in the process.
In the opening game Azusa Pacific kicked the ball around for 6 errors that lead to 3 unearned runs, negating a commendable debut performance by Cougar freshman hurler Jeannette Murad. Murad worked 5 innings, surrendering just 4 hits and 1 earned run.
In the sixth inning, San Marcos broke open a tight game, parlaying 3 hits and 2 Azusa Pacific errors into a trio or runs, all scored with 2 outs.
Azusa Pacific actually out-hit San Marcos, 7-6, and put runners in scoring position in the first, third and fourth innings, but the Cougars could not cash in on the opportunities.
In the second game, Holly Russell’s 1-out triple to right field in the second inning was all San Marcos needed to record its fourth win of the season over Azusa Pacific. Russell’s rip plated Lerno, and Mimi Krutein’s single pushed Russell across for an insurance run.
The rest was up was Sandberg, who shutout the Cougars on 2 hits, retiring 10 of the final 11 batters she faced.
Azusa Pacific had a chance to score in the fourth inning, loading the bases with 2 outs, but Sandberg induced an inning-ending ground-out to preserve the shutout.
Pitcher Camille Hundley, who suffered the loss in the second game, had a pair of hits in both contests, going 2-for-4 on the day. Erin Halma and Cassie Treischel each had 2 hits in the first game.
Azusa Pacific returns to action Monday (March 3) when its hosts the NAIA’s No. 11-ranked Lee University in a 2 p.m. doubleheader at the Cougar Softball Complex.