WAIPAHU, Hawaii -- Sophomore pitcher Taryn Devich fired 4 innings of shutout softball, and Azusa Pacific took advantage of some shoddy fielding as the Cougars managed a split of its doubleheader at Chaminade University Thursday night. The Silverswords won the first game, 6-5, before the Cougars, behind Devich’s pitching, took the nightcap, 9-0.
A rather efficient set of Cougars registered just 6 hits in the second game, but a pair of Silversword errors, a passed ball and hit batsman all aided in Azusa Pacific’s run-ruled victory.
The Cougars got half their hits in the opening inning when Angela Sprague and Nicole Llorens opened the game with a pair of infield singles. After a double steal moved the Cougars to second and third bases, Sprague scored on a ground out and Llorens came home on a wild pitch. Rachel Miller then capped the 3-run first inning with her second home run of the season.
The Cougars added a pair of unearned runs in the fourth when Chaminade pitcher Chelsi Walls booted a Jac Harkey grounder.
Azusa Pacific put an end to the game with a 4-run fifth inning, getting just 2 hits in the inning. Brandi Andrews’ double score Llorens to push the Cougar lead to 6-0. Azusa Pacific added 3 more runs in the frame without the benefit of a hit.
Meanwhile, Devich dazzled in the circle, dancing out of trouble in 3 consecutive innings, including the fourth when she had a bases-loaded, no out situation. However, she got a fly out to shallow centerfield, a strikeout and a ground out to get out the jam unscathed. After pitching 4 innings of 1-hit shutout relief in the first game, Devich gave way to Mariah Worley in the second game for one inning of shutout work, which pushed Worley’s streak to 15.1 innings of pitching without giving up an earned run this season.
In the first game, sophomore pitcher Rita Kim had a momentary lapse of control and walked 4 batters in the Chaminade second inning. Toss in a couple of in a couple of hits, including a 2-run Chasity Senas double, and the Silverswords found themselves with a 6-0 lead after 2 innings.
Azusa Pacific whittled away at the deficit, scoring twice in the third inning. The Cougars tacked on 3 more in the seventh and had the bases loaded with 2 outs, but Erika Marmolejo, who is second on the team in slugging percentage, flew out to right field to end the comeback and the game.
On the day, Miller went 3-for-5 with 3 RBIs and 2 runs scored to raise her team-leading batting average to .421.
With the split, the Cougars move to 5-5 on the season. They close out the trip to Hawaii with a Saturday (Feb. 12) doubleheader at Hawaii Pacific.