HILO, Hawaii –- The NAIA’s No. 13-ranked Azusa Pacific has been the master of 1-run games this year, winning of 12 of 18 narrow contests – until today. The Cougars suffered a pair of disappointing setbacks, falling twice at Hawaii-Hilo, 1-0 and 2-1.
In the opening game the Cougars managed just 3 hits and still had a chance to at least force extra innings. With Azusa Pacific trailing 1-0, Megan Alkire led off the seventh inning with a single up the middle. Pinch runner Rachel Yoshizu was sacrificed to second but could get no closer to home as the next batters went down to end the game.
In the nightcap, Rachel Alkire gave Azusa Pacific a 1-0 lead in the second inning with a 1-out bomb to centerfield, her team-leading eighth round-tripper of the season.
In the bottom of the sixth, though, Hawaii-Hilo used a single, a double, and a triple to tally 2 runs, the second coming with 2 outs, to post the come-from-behind victory. The Cougars out-hit Hilo, 7-5, but hit into 3 inning-ending double-plays, including one in the top of the seventh with the game-tying run at third base.
With the double defeats, Azusa Pacific falls to 35-17 while Hawaii-Hilo uses the sweep to improve to 26-13. Despite Azusa Pacific out-scoring the Vulcans, 6-5, in the 4-game series, Hilo still wins 3 of the contests. The Cougars, who take Wednesday off, continue their tour of Hawaii at Chaminade University on Thursday (April 17).