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Cougars in a Runaway

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Published
February 17, 2011
By
Gary Pine
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AZUSA, Calif. -- The NAIA’s No. 22-ranked Azusa Pacific cranked 3 home runs, scored 17 runs and held the foe to just 6 hits in 12 innings of play as the Cougars cruised to a doubleheader sweep of La Sierra University, beating the Golden Eagles 11-1 and 6-1 Thursday afternoon.

Junior Olivia Wilcox went 3-for-5 on the day with 3 RBIs and 2 runs scored. She slugged her second home run of the season, a 2-run laser to leftfield in the third inning of the second game to put the Cougars up 3-0 at the time. In the opening game she went 2-for-3 with a run-scoring single to shallow center to highlight a 4-run first inning.

The Cougars had little trouble disposing of the upstart La Sierra program. Azusa Pacific raced out to a 10-0 lead after 3 innings of the first game. Nicole Llorens’ bases-clearing triple capped a 6-run third inning, and the only suspense left were the next 6 outs necessary to call the game. And the way sophomore pitcher Taryn Devich was throwing, even that didn’t carry much anxiety.

Devich struck out 8 of the first 9 batters she faced, and only a momentary lapse in control cost her a no-hitter. She walked the first 3 batters of the fourth, but one was picked off and another caught stealing before the Golden Eagles got their only hit of the game. Barbara Torres surprisingly lifted a ball over right fielder Angie Sprague and it rolled into a triple to score the Golden Eagles’ only run of the game.

Devich matched her season-high with 9 strike outs in just 4 innings of work and ran her record to 3-2 in the process.

In the second game Brandi Andrews and Leslie-Anne Picone led off the sixth inning with back-to-back solo home runs to cap the sweep. For Andrews it was her second home run and season, and it was Picone’s first in her 3-year collegiate career.

Sprague finished the 5-for-7 at the plate to raise her season average to .375. She also stole 2 bases and scored a pair of runs.

With the sweep, the Cougars improve to 7-5 on the season while La Sierra falls to 0-8. The Cougars return to the diamond Friday (Feb. 25) when they visit Occidental College for a 1 p.m. game in Eagle Rock, Calif.