IRVINE, Calif. -- Pitchers Courtney Young and Jennnifer Simons surrendered just 5 hits in a combined 12 innings of work as the NAIA’s No. 3-ranked Concordia pushed its winning streak to 10 straight with a Golden State Athletic Conference doubleheader sweep of Azusa Pacific Saturday afternoon. CUI beat the Cougars, 4-1 and 8-0.
Young capped the sweep with 4.2 innings of no-hit softball, coming within an out of a run-ruled no-hitter. Instead, sophomore Rachel Miller thwarted Young’s bid by lining a 3-1 offering back up the middle for the Cougars’ only hit of the contest. Young came back, however, to strike out pinch hittiner Kayla Anderson for her second punch-out of the game.
In the bottom of the fifth, Concodia continued to take advantage of shoddy Azusa Pacific defense, and plated 2 unearned runs to end the game. The Eagles scored in all 5 innings of play, and half their runs were gifts by way 6 Cougar errors, including at least one by every Cougar infielder.
In the first game, Ashlee Leon’s 1-out single to left scored Priscilla Martinez and Alyssa Erickson to give Concordia a 2-0 lead through 2 innings of play, and that was all Simons needed. This week’s reining GSAC Pitcher of the Week, Simons scattered 4 hits over 7 innings of work, striking out 3 and walking one to run her record to 15-2 on the season.
After Concordia increased its lead to 3-0 with another run in the third, Cougar third baseman Olivia Wilcox greeted Simons with a fourth-inning lead-off home run, the Cougars’ first hit of the game and Wilcox’ sixth bomb of the season. The home run ended Simons’ streak of 31 innings pitched without allowing a run. When Erika Marmolejo followed with a sharp single to right, Azusa Pacific appeared to be on the comeback trail. However, Simons settled and retired the next 5 batters in a row.
Leon led Concordia’s 14-hit attack on the day by going 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored. Jenna Jorgenson, who had first-game triple that led to a run, was 3-for-6 with a run and an RBI.
With the sweep, Concordia improves to 38-4 overall, 8-0 in the GSAC to stay in a tie for first with No. 1-ranked California Baptist University. Azusa Pacific falls to 19-15 overall, 4-4 in the GSAC, and with Biola’s split with Hope International, the Cougars retain sole possession of third place in the GSAC.
The Cougars visit Biola on Tuesday (April 5) for a 2 p.m. doubleheader vs. the Eagles in La Mirada.