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Photo by Joe Reinsch
Senior 1B Erika Marmolejo drove in the first run of Azusa Pacific's 2012 season, helping the Cougars to a 4-2, 3-1 sweep over Redlands Friday night.

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February 3, 2012
Joe Reinsch
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AZUSA, Calif. -- Azusa Pacific picked up where last year's incredible season-ending run left off, rallying twice for come-from-behind wins in 4-2, 3-1 sweep over NCAA Div. III's No. 18-ranked Redlands Friday night.

Rita Kim struck out six in the opener, firing a complete-game in the circle while going two-for-three at the plate with the game-winning RBI. In the nightcap, Taryn Devich picked up the complete-game win, scattering six hits and an unearned run with a pair of strikeouts. Devich gave up back-to-back singles to lead off the seventh inning, putting the potential tying run in scoring position with no outs, but she picked up a pair of groundouts to third before striking out Clark to finish off the victory.

Newcomer Katrina Oviedo was two-for-two, and she scored the winning run in the second game, and the Cougars used a pair of Bulldog errors that allowed Rachel Miller and Olivia Wilcox to hit back-to-back sacrifice flies in the fifth inning to take the lead for good.

In the first game, Redlands struck first when leadoff hitter Amanda Clark was hit by pitch and stole second. Back-to-back groundouts induced by Kim gave the Cougars a chance to get out of the inning, but an error brought Clark in to score for the early 1-0 lead.

Azusa Pacific answered in the bottom of the first with a pair of unearned runs. Angie Sprague led off with an infield hit, and after stealing second, moved up to third base on an error that allowed Wilcox to reach base. Erika Marmolejo brought in the season’s first run with an RBI groundout to short, and Brandi Andrews followed with an RBI single into center field that scored Wilcox from third base.

The Cougars added a single run in a three-hit fifth inning, and Natalie Barnaby’s inside-the-park home run to right-center field led off the sixth with the insurance run that provided the final 4-2 margin.

In the second game, Redlands again got on the board first with an unearned run in the top of the third, but Devich retired 10 straight batters as the Cougars rallied for three runs in the middle innings. A pair of extra-base hits in the bottom of the fourth inning allowed Azusa Pacific to tie the game. Wilcox led off the frame with a triple to right-center, and she scored on Andrews’ one-out double.

The Cougars took the lead an inning later, taking advantage of two Bulldog errors for a couple of unearned runs in the fifth inning on back-to-back sacrifice flies from Miller and Wilcox.

Azusa Pacific opens the campaign with a 2-0 record, while Redlands is now 0-2 to start the year.