RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- Lyndsie Roberts hit 2 home runs and scattered 8 hits over 7 innings of pitching to lead Biola University to a 5-2 victory over Azusa Pacific in the play-in game of the Golden State Athletic Conference Postseason Tournament Tuesday afternoon at John C. Funk Stadium on the campus of California Baptist University.
The loss ends Azusa Pacific’s season while Biola moves on to the tournament semifinals where it will take on tournament host Cal Baptist in a best 2-of-3 series.
The southpaw Roberts cranked a 2-out, 2-run home run in the first inning to give the Eagles a quick 2-0 lead and then blasted a solo shot to lead off the sixth. That’s all Biola needed.
In the circle, Roberts constantly danced out of trouble and produced timely outs that forced Azusa Pacific to leave 11 runners on base, 7 of them in scoring position, including 4 at third base.
After scoring on a bases-loaded walk to pull to within a run at 3-2 in the bottom of the fifth, the Cougars had a chance to take their first lead of the contest, but Roberts produced 1 of her 3 strikeouts in the game when she got freshman Jac Harkey to swing and miss on a 2-2 pitch to end the threat.
Roberts answered by leading off the next frame with her sixth home run of the season, and Krista Johnson followed with a double to the gap in left, later scoring on a 2-out single to give the Eagles an insurmountable 5-2 lead.
Azusa Pacific put runners at third base in both the sixth and seventh innings but couldn’t cash in.
Eight of the 9 Cougar starters got hits. Sophomore Leslie-Anne Picone was 1-for-3 and pushed across both Cougar runs, first with a 2-out single to left that plated Angie Sprague in the first inning, and then by inducing a bases-loaded walk that scored Nicole Llorens
Freshman pitcher Rita Kim worked the first 2.1 innings before fellow freshman Taryn Devich closed out the final 4.2 innings of work
With the loss, the Cougars’ season ends with a 27-22 record. The 27 wins are the most by an Azusa Pacific squad since 2005, and with all but 1 player returning from this year’s team, the 2011 campaign appears to be promising.
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