The NAIA’s No. 2-ranked Point Loma Nazarene University came to the Canyon City and ran roughshod on the Cougars, out-scoring No. 21 Azusa Pacific a combined 19-1 for a key Golden State Athletic Conference doubleheader sweep Tuesday evening. The Sea Lions won the first game 8-0 and took the second 11-1 in a run-ruled contest.
What Azusa Pacific had hoped to be a battle for second-place in the GSAC turned into a back-woods whipping that gives Point Loma Nazarene a 3-game lead on Azusa Pacific for second-place in the conference.
In the opening game, all Sea Lion pitcher Tyler Lent needed was – Tyler Lent herself. The sophomore from of San Bernardino fired 6 innings of 5-hit shutout softball and at the plate cranked 2 home runs, including a solo monster shot to left field in the fifth inning that gave Point Loma Nazarene a 4-0 lead at the time. Later she highlighted a 4-run seventh inning with a 2-run home run down the left field line and finished the game 3-for-4 with 3 RBIs and 2 runs scored.
The Sea Lions wasted no time getting to Cougar ace Camille Hundley. Amanda Addie led off the game with a single and came home when Erica Ricker immediately followed with a triple to right center. Mel Gomez produced a 1-out single that pushed Ricker home and gave the Sea Lions a quick 2-0.
Hundley settled down from there but the Addie-Ricker combo got to her again for a single run in the fifth inning to push the Sea Lion advantage to 3-0. Addie led off with another single up the middle and proceeded to steal second and third bases – she had 5 steals in the game – and then trotted home when Ricker doubled to left-center
Enter Lent, who was already in deep work on her seventh shutout of the season, but now opted to use her bat. In only her 24th at-bat of the season, she unloaded a bomb off a Hundley offering that ricocheted of the light post in left-center field. In the next inning, on her following at-bat, she laced a line shot down the left-field line off Cougar reliever Jeanette Murad to complete the Sea Lions’ 8-0 victory.
In the nightcap, Cougar pitcher Erin Halma held the Sea Lions’ at bat for 2 innings, but the Point Loma bats exploded for 5 runs in the third inning to take control of the game. Four consecutive singles to start the inning put PLNU up 1-0 with the bases loaded and nobody out. A fielder’s choice, a sacrifice fly and another single plated 4 more runs before the Cougars could get the second out.
Addie and Ricker, which had been wreaking havoc on Azusa Pacific pitching all night, keyed a 2-run fourth inning with Addie leading off with yet another single and coming home on a Ricker triple. Ricker then sprinted home on a grounder later in the inning.
Point Loma put the game on ice with 4 more runs in the fifth inning. Addie lined a bases-clearing double just inside the third-base bag to put PLNU up 10-1. She came home on a 1-out single to cap the night’s scoring.
Addie, who came into the game batting .421 on the season, went 8-for-9 on the night with 5 runs, 3 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. Ricker was 4-for-6 with 3 RBIs, 3 runs, 2 triples and a double.
Azusa Pacific’s only run of the night came on Jen Whitten’s third-inning double off the centerfield wall, sending Nicole Llorens home from first and cutting the Sea Lion lead to 5-1 at the time. Cassie Treischel, the Cougars’ leading hitter on the season at .333, enjoyed a good night at plate by going 3-for-6.
Point Loma, which runs it current winning streak over Azusa Pacific to 12 straight, moves to 31-7 on the season, 12-4 in the GSAC. Azusa Pacific falls to 19-20 overall, 9-7 in the GSAC.
Azusa Pacific continues a schedule through the teeth of the GSAC by visiting top-ranked California Baptist University Saturday (April 12) for a noon doubleheader in Riverside, Calif.