RIVERSIDE, Calif. – Defending GSAC champion Cal Baptist proved once again the age-old adage that quality pitching is a better commodity than quality hitting.
The Lancers and their GSAC-leading pitching staff shut down Azusa Pacific and it’s GSAC-leading offense, shutting out the Cougars in a 1-0 and 2-0 in a conference doubleheader in Riverside.
Azusa Pacific, which entered the day having scored a GSAC-best 145 runs in 24 games, suffered its first shutouts of the season at the hands of Cal Baptist’s Candice Thomas and Amanda Xavier, who limited the Cougars to just 11 hits on the day while striking out 15 batters.
In the opening game, Xavier out-dueled Azusa Pacific’s Kris Franks by retiring 11 of the final 12 batters she faced. Meanwhile, Cal Baptist, which had managed just 3 hits off Franks through the first 6 innings of play, finally got to her with 3 singles in the seventh with the game-winner coming off the bat of Tami Trujillo, whose 1-out shot to center scored Kristen Hernandez with the game’s only run.
In the nightcap, Thomas proved to be the pitcher that her numbers tout. Thomas has yet to give up an earned run this season and pushed her streak to 70.2 with another 7-inning standout performance against Azusa Pacific. Thomas scattered 7 hits and struck out 8 Cougars while she patiently waited for her Lancers to finally get to Cougar hurler Michelle Coleman, who matched Thomas pitch-for-pitch until the sixth inning.
With 2 outs in that fateful sixth, Cal Baptist went to work by stringing together 4 straight hits. Hernandez singled to left to start the uprising and came home with what proved to be the game-winning run on Jenkins’ double to right-center. After a Trujillo single, Jenkins walked home on an Angella Funk single.
Azusa Pacific had to play both games without the GSAC’s leading home run hitter, Natalie Mickelson, who sat out the games with an injury.
With the sweep, Cal Baptist improves to 19-2 overall, 6-0 in the GSAC. Azusa Pacific falls to 20-6 overall, 2-4 in the GSAC.