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A Split Before Splitting

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April 18, 2003
Gary Pine
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AZUSA, CALIF. -- Azusa Pacific split its final doubleheader of a week-long tour through Hawaii, this time swapping identical 5-4 results with Hawaii Pacific, taking the first game before surrendering the nightcap in the bottom of the seventh inning.

In the opening game, the Cougars rallied from a 4-1 deficit by scoring 4 runs in the top of the seventh. Jennie Waleszonia’s 2-run home run with 2 outs completed the comeback to give the Cougars the improbable victory. Megan Carpenter and Trisha Rico led off the inning with back-to-back doubles to pull the Cougars to within 2 runs at 4-2. A Megan Alkire sacrifice fly sent pinch runner Holly Downard home to make it 4-3 before Waleszonia clinched the victory with her game-winning bomb.

Alkire was the benefactor of the comeback and picked up the victory. She scattered 7 hits over 7 innings in which she also struck out 1 but walked 4.

Cassie Lakey and Rachel Alkire both had 3 hits in the game. Alkire laced a 2-out double to right field to score Lakey and give the Cougars a 1-0 lead in the first inning. The Sea Warriors came back with single runs in the first, third, fifth and sixth innings to assume a 4-1 lead before the Cougars’ 4-run, seventh-inning outburst.

In the nightcap, Azusa Pacific returned the favor to Hawaii Pacific, allowing the Sea Warriors to take advantage of some sloppy Cougar defense to score a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh to post a 5-4 win.

Azusa Pacific committed 2 errors and a passed ball that led to 3 unearned runs, and the Sea Warriors took advantage of 2 wild pitches to score another run as the Cougars gave away a possible victory and a chance at a winning record on its 8-game Hawaii tour.

Azusa Pacific broke open a scoreless game in the fifth when for the second time in the evening Rico and Carpenter led off the inning with back-to-back doubles to put the Cougars up 1-0. After HPU answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth, the Cougars re-assumed the lead in the sixth with 2 runs of their own. Rachel Alkire single’s to center scored Waleszonia, who had doubled to lead off the inning. Sasah Budde then doubled home Alkire to put the Cougars up 3-2. HPU tied the game at 3-3 with a run in the bottom of the sixth. The Cougars took a 4-3 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh when Budde ripped a 2-out single to center to score Waleszonia.

Azusa Pacific splits its 8 games in Hawaii and its record moves to 38-18 on the season. Hawaii Pacific is now 26-20.