AZUSA, Calif. -- A season of hope and optimism hit an inauspicious debut in the conference opener, and that’s about the only thing Azusa Pacific hit through 12 innings of softball against Concordia University Tuesday evening at the Cougar Softball Complex.
Concordia rolled to a 10-0, 4-0 sweep of Azusa Pacific in both teams’ 2009 Golden State Athletic Conference opener, using big bats, timely hitting and quality pitching to remove any suspense in both games.
Eagle pitchers Jennifer Simons and Rachel Reekstin held Azusa Pacific to just 8 hits, all singles, and didn’t allow a Cougar base runner to reach third base all night while each hurler posted complete-game efforts, Simons needing just 5 innings of work.
Eagle first baseman Katie Carson set the tone for the day by leading off the first game with the first of her 2 triples, this one to centerfield. Two batters later she trotted home on Alicia Lucatero’s single to give Concordia a quick 1-0 lead.
By the second inning it became quite clear that Cougar ace Camille Hundley was struggling to hit her spots when the Eagles tagged her for 4 more runs, 2 coming on another Carson triple. Lucatero again brought Carson home on a sacrifice fly to put Concordia up 5-0.
The Eagles tallied 4 more runs in the fourth, all with 2 outs, to go up 9-0. Shannon Walton’s 2-run double down the leftfield line highlighted the inning.
Meanwhile, Simons allowed just 2 hits, singles to Hundley and Natalie Mickelson, and cruised to her seventh victory in 8 decisions this season.
In the nightcap, Cougar pitcher Erin Halma gave Azusa Pacific some hope of a potential split but Lizette Fernandez single-handedly dashed it, first with a run-scoring double in the second inning and then with a 2-run home run in the seventh, her first round-tripper of the season.
Reekstin, who improves to 4-2 on the season, scattered 6 hits and stranded 6 Cougars on base, including a trio at second base over the first 4 innings of play.
The sweep is Concordia’s first of Azusa Pacific in the Canyon City since 2004, and only the Eagles’ second road sweep in series history.
Concordia improves to 19-5 overall, 2-0 in GSAC play, while the Cougars falls to 8-8 and 0-2 in the GSAC.