AZUSA, Calif. – In its final tune-up before opening conference play next week, Azusa Pacific managed a split with traditional power Cal State Bakersfield, winning the opening game 4-3 in its final at-bat before the Roadrunners rallied for a 2-1 verdict in the nightcap.
Senior pitcher Erin Kelly went the entire distance in both games for CSUB. After having her personal 7-game winning streak snapped in the first game, she came back and limited Azusa Pacific to just 1 run on 4 hits to pick up the victory in the second game, pushing her record to 11-2 on the season.
In the first game, Megan Alkire’s sacrifice fly to centerfield scored Megan Carpenter with 2 outs in the bottom of the seventh to give the Cougars their third straight last-at-bat victory at home. Carpenter opened the inning with a double down the leftfield line and moved to third on a sacrifice by Cassie Lakey, setting up Alkire’s heroics.
The Cougars knotted the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the fifth when Jennie Waleszonia’s 2-out double to left field scored Carpenter from second base. Waleszonia finished the game 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs and a run. Pitcher Rachel Alkire went the distance, allowing 1 earned run on 7 hits to move to 3-0 on the season. She helped herself at the plate as well with a first-inning RBI single that plated Waleszonia and staked the Cougars to an early 2-0 lead.
In the nightcap, the Roadrunners used a walk and 3 infield singles in the sixth inning to snap a 1-1 tie and pick up the victory. Sarah McClain, Renee Rubio and Katie King accounted for the hits, with King’s safety scoring McClain with 1 out in the inning. Candace Pillado led the Roadrunner offense, going 2-for-3 with an RBI, using a 2-out double to score Amber Mills and tie the game at 1-1 in the second inning.
The rest was up to Kelly, who danced out of trouble in the bottom of the seventh when Shawna Paxton led off the inning with a single to center. Pinch runner Megan Carpenter was sacrificed to second base and used a wild pitch to move to third with 1 out. However, Kelly got Rachel Yoshizu to pop out to third and pinch hitter Sasha Budde flew out to right field to end the game.
With the split, Azusa Pacific moves to 13-3 on the season while Cal State Bakersfield is 16-8.