LA MIRADA, Calif. – Azusa Pacific ran its winning streak to 11 straight and improved its best start in program history during a tripleheader at Biola before the Eagles put an end to all the fun by handing the Cougars their first defeat in 3 weeks.
The Cougars opened the day with a 7-2 victory over Robert Morris College of Chicago, Ill. Megan Carpenter’s 2-out, bases clearing double capped a 6-run fifth inning which broke a 1-1 tie. The Cougars took advantage of 7 free passes allowed by 2 Robert Morris pitchers and needed just 6 hits to come up with the victory. Meanwhile, sophomore pitcher Michelle Coleman fired her third straight quality outing and was 1 out away from her first-ever collegiate no-hitter before surrendering a home run for RMC’s only hit of the game. Coleman struck out 4 and walked 1 while pushing her record to 3-0 on the season.
In the second game, Azusa Pacific scored 11 runs in its final 3 at-bats, including 7 in the sixth inning, to rally from 7-3 down to beat Notre Dame de Namur, 14-9, for the highest scoring Cougar game since 1999. Sasha Budde and Cassie Lakey highlighted a 6-hit seventh inning with hits that drove in a pair of runs. Budde, Lakey and Waleszonia all had 3 hits for the game, and Rachel Alkire slugged her team-leading third home run of the season, a 2-run blast to left-center that pulled the Cougars to within 2 at 7-5 in the fifth inning.
By the time Azusa Pacific took the field for the Biola game at 2 p.m., they were playing their fifth game in just 22 hours, and exhaustion begin to set in. In a nonconference game, Biola snapped the Cougars’ 11-game winning streak and handed Azusa Pacific its first loss since Feb. 1 with a 3-1 verdict. The Cougars managed just 1 runner to advance to second base and that was Lakey who led off the third inning with a double and came home on Megan Alkire’s single to knot the game at 1-1. However, Jessica Clark’s 2-out double to leftfield plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth and propelled the Eagles to the victory.
Waleszonia continued her hot streak by going 5-for-7 on the day with 4 runs, 3 RBIs, a trio of walks and 2 stolen bases. Lakey was 5-for-11 with a pair of doubles, and Budde was 4-for-9 with 4 RBIs.