Azusa Pacific pounded out 28 hits in 48 at-bats (.583 avg.) and scored at least 1 run in all 8 innings of work as the Cougars cruised to 12-2 and 10-0 mercy-ruled GSAC victories over Hope International.
The Alkire twins, Megan and Rachel, provided all the necessary offensive bang, exploding for a combined 8-for-12 effort at the plate that included 4 doubles, a home run and 8 RBIs.
Meanwhile, in the pitcher’s circle, Megan and Kris Franks held Hope to just 5 hits while striking out 13. The Cougars’ hitting/pitching combo led them to their 35th and 36th consecutive victories over the Royals.
In the opening game, Hope jumped out to a short-lived 1-0 lead on Lisa Teberg’s 2-out solo home run down the left field line, her GSAC-leading 12th of the season. The Cougars came right back with 3 runs in the bottom of the first, 2 coming off Cassi Sweeney’s team-leading ninth double of the season. Azusa Pacific added 5 more in the second inning. Rachel Alkire ripped a bases-clearing double to centerfield that put the Cougars up 8-1 at the time.
After plating a single run in the third, the Cougars put the first game away with 3 more runs in the fourth inning, all with 2 outs. For the game, Megan Alkire was 3-for-3 with 2 runs, while Rachel Alkire was 2-for-3 with 4 RBIs, all off 2 doubles.
Franks struck out 8 in her 5 innings of work, including 5 of the first 7 batters she faced, while picking up her team-leading 12th win in 16 decisions.
In the nightcap, the Cougars used a 7-run third inning to blow open the game. Megan Alkire’s 3-run homer over the centerfield wall, her fifth bomb of the season, put the Cougars up 5-0 at the time. The Cougars then followed with 3 straight singles by Rachel Alkire, Jessica Mikesell and Shawna Paxton and when Tami Carter lifted a sacrifice fly to left that scored Mikesell, Azusa Pacific held a 9-0 advantage.
Megan Alkire fired a 2-hit shutout, the Cougars’ 12th goose egg of the season, and stuck out 5 while walking just 1 to improve to 3-0 on the season. Additionally, she continues to sizzle at the plate. Over the past 10 games, Alkire is batting .607 (17-for-28) with 6 doubles, 2 home runs and 10 RBIs. She is now batting a team-leading .467 on the season.