COSTA MESA, Calif. –- While home has truly been comforting for Azusa Pacific, the road has provided nothing but travel hazards for the Cougars – until today. Azusa Pacific picked up its first sweep on the GSAC road this season, downing Vanguard, 1-0 and 6-2, in a key conference twinbill.
In the opening game Cassie Lakey singled to center to score Megan Carpenter, who led off the third inning with a triple, and pitcher Rachel Alkire made that 1 run stand up as she recorded her first shutout of the season.
Alkire limited Vanguard to just 5 hits and left the tying run at third base in both the fourth and sixth innings. In each situation, Lion Celina Camarillo had tripled with the bases emptied, but Alkire responded by striking out Jill Jessen both times, picking up 2 of her 3 strikeouts for the game. With the victory, Alkire improves to 4-3 on the season.
The Cougars collected 7 hits with Lakey leading the way with a 2-for-4 effort.
In the nightcap, Azusa Pacific broke open a tight game with 4 runs in the seventh inning and went on to down Vanguard 6-2 and record its third straight sweep of Lions in Costa Mesa.
Shawna Paxton’s lead-off double in the seventh, followed by Jennie Waleszonia’s 2-out, 2-run double highlighted the Cougar outburst.
Down 1-0, Azusa Pacific took the lead for good with a pair of runs scored with 2 outs in the fifth inning. Carpenter’s double scored Kris Franks, and Lakey’s single plated Carpenter to give Azusa Pacific a 2-1 lead it would not relinquish.
Pitcher Michelle Coleman picked up the win to improve to 6-1 on the season. She scattered 4 hits over 5 innings before giving way to Franks, who pitched the final 2 innings to pick up her first collegiate save.
Lakey again led the way at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Carpenter was 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs and a run.
With the sweep, Azusa Pacific improves to 26-10 overall, 9-7 in the GSAC. Vanguard falls to 19-13 overall, 7-8 in the GSAC.