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Hundley Goes Distance, Then Some

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March 18, 2008
Gary Pine
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LA MIRADA, Calif. – It’s been at least 7 years, perhaps as many as 12, but however long it has been, what Camille Hundley did today should not be forgotten for a long time. It was a performance for the annuals. A heroic effort, as impressive as it was surprising. And it may be the performance that catapults Azusa Pacific into a new echelon of play.

Hundley pitched back-to-back complete games to lead Azusa Pacific to a doubleheader sweep of the NAIA’s No. 19-ranked Biola University. The Cougars won 2-1 and 5-0 to post their first sweep of a Golden State Athletic Conference foe other than Hope International University since the 2006 season. Hundley pitched all 14 innings, surrendering just 1 run while striking out 6. Not since at least 2001 has one Cougar pitcher fired compete-game victories of a doubleheader sweep and it is likely that such a feat hasn’t happened since All-American Kerry Martin did it several time during the 1996 season.

“Camille dominated in the circle today,” said Azusa Pacific head coach Carrie Webber. “She was throwing a lights outs game, and had Biola all tied up in the first game. It really didn’t seem like a 2-1 came because from the first inning on we were in control.”

Today’s effort caps an outstanding stretch for the junior hurler in which Hundley has allowed just 1 earned run over the past 28 innings of work, striking out 21 in the process to run her record to 8-6 on the season while lowering he earned run average to 1.30.

“It was a little bit of a gut instinct to go with Camille in the second game,” added Webber. “I really didn’t think she’d finish, and we had 2 other pitchers lined up ready to go on a moment’s notice, but Camille is a workhorse. She was nails.”

Azusa Pacific took advantage of 3 Biola errors to score a pair of unearned runs and win the opening game. Freshman Nicole Llorens lined a 2-out double to centerfield and came home on a throwing error by the Eagle shortstop. Erica Navarette led off the third inning with a bunt single and eventually scored on a passed ball to put the Cougars up 2-0 at the time.

The Eagles touched up Hundley for their only run of the day by using a pair of singles and a stolen base to cut the Cougar advantage in half in the bottom of the fourth. Hundley settled down, retiring the next 10 batters before getting back into trouble in the bottom of the seventh. The Eagles put 2 runners on with 2 outs but Hundley struck out Erica Moyer to end the threat and the game.

In the nightcap, Hundley danced around 7 hits and a pair of walks to secure the victory. She stranded 8 Eagles on base, including 5 in scoring position, preserving her fourth shutout of the season, the second in her past 4 outings.

The Cougars exploded for 4 runs in the fourth, the big blow being Whitten’s 2-run double to left-center to score Erin Halma and Bethany Weisser.

Since being dropped to the No. 9 spot in the line-up 3 games ago, Whitten, the Cougars’ former leadoff hitter, is 6-for-9 with 3 RBIs, a double and a triple.

“Jen was putting too much pressure on herself,” said Webber. “Now she is relaxed, getting back to the type of hitter that we know she is and producing for us.”

Whitten accounted for 4 of the Cougars’ 14 hits on the day. Weisser tallied 3 hits, and Hundley helped her own cause with a pair of singles and a run scored.

“We’re clicking as a team right now,” said Webber. “They are enjoying the game and executing much better. Plus it was Biola. They were excited about the game and having fun.”

With the sweep Azusa Pacific improves to 14-13 on the season and 5-5 in the GSAC. Biola falls to 10-14 overall, 2-6 in the GSAC.

The Cougars return to action Wednesday (March 19) with a pair of games at the Sun West Tournament in Orange, Calif.

“We have 4 other competitive pitchers that we can use tomorrow,” responded Webber when asked if Hundley might throw again. “I don’t foresee us doing that again (throwing Hundley 14 innings). It was just something for the moment.”

A moment that will last for a long time.