SAN DIEGO, Calif. – The NAIA’s No. 2-ranked Point Loma Nazarene took all the suspense out of what was supposed to be a showdown between 2 of the GSAC’s top teams. The Crusaders scored 5 runs in the first inning of the first game and then scored 3 runs in its first 2 at-bats of the second game to cruise to a sweep of No. 22 Azusa Pacific, 7-0 and 3-0.
It appeared the keystone cops took the field in the first game when Azusa Pacific committed 5 errors in the opening frame, leading to 5 unearned runs and a commanding lead for Point Loma, which managed just 1 hit in the inning. Sophomore pitcher Rachel Alkire was the victim of the porous defense. She surrendered just 7 hits in the game and only 2 earned runs while striking out 4. Yet the damage was done in the opening frame and that was more than enough for All-GSAC pitcher Leslie Ludlow, who limited the Cougars to 6 singles while striking out 2.
In the nightcap, Point Loma scored a pair of runs with 2 outs in the first inning and then relied on the pitching Miranda Vandervoort and Kelly Kalish to hold the Cougars to just 4 singles. The 2 Crusader pitchers shut down Azusa Pacific’s first 4 batters in the line-up, who were a combined 0-for-13.
On the day, Megan Alkire, Rachel Alkire and Trisha Rico each had 2 hits.
With the 2 losses Azusa Pacific falls to 14-6 overall, 1-3 in the GSAC and has now lost 3 straight, it’s longest losing streak of the season. Point Loma Nazarene has now won 12 straight, improving to 13-4 overall and staking a strong hold on first place in the GSAC at 7-0.