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Tough Day at the Office

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April 16, 2005
Gary Pine
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AZUSA, Calif. – Pitchers Amanda Xavier and Candice Thomas held Azusa Pacific to just 2 hits through 13 innings of play to lead the NAIA’s No. 4-ranked California Baptist to a doubleheader sweep of the Cougars, winning the first game 4-0 before taking the second game 6-3.

In the opening game, Xavier yielded a leadoff bunt single to Azusa Pacific’s Justine Barnett and then proceeded to retire the next 21 batters in a row, striking out 5 in the process while settling for a 1-hit shutout, her fourth goose egg of the season. The only help Xavier needed came in the second inning when the Lancers scored 3 runs, all with 2 outs. Chantel Millard’s double to left center scored Tami Trujillo and Shannon Brandt to put CBU up 2-0. Two batters later Millard trotted home on Jamie Lowe’s single up the middle.

Millard gave the Lancers an unnecessary run when she walked to lead off the sixth inning and then came home on Jenny Stolle’s single in the right-centerfield cap.

Cougar pitcher Kris Franks was handcuffed with the loss though she did well to scatter 12 Cal Baptist hits and leave 11 Lancers on-base during the game. Franks struck out 3 and walked 4.

In the second game, Lancer catcher Angela Funk had 3 hits and 3 RBIs to propel Cal Baptist out to a 6-0 lead. Funk’s 2-out single in the second inning plated Trujillo to put Cal Baptist up 2-0 at the time. Funk then doubled in the sixth to score Trujillo and Jenkins with what proved to be much-needed runs.

In the bottom of the seventh, Azusa Pacific scored off Lancer pitching for the first time in 37 innings (5-plus games) when with 2 outs Jessica Mikesell laced a bullet over the head of Trujillo in leftfield to send Megan Alkire and Cassi Sweeney home with Azusa Pacific’s first runs off Cal Baptist since March 6, 2004. Mikesell then scored when shortstop Kristen Hernandez threw away Rachel Alkire’s grounder to cut the Cal Baptist cushion to 6-3. However, Thomas struck out Shawna Paxton to quell the uprising and secure her 22nd victory on the season. Thomas finished with a 4-hitter and teamed with Xavier to not walk a Cougar in 14 innings of work on the day.

The sweep is Cal Baptist’s first ever at Azusa Pacific, and it pushes the Lancer winning streak to 9 straight on the season. The Lancers improve to 38-3 overall, 17-1 in the GSAC. Azusa Pacific falls to 27-13 overall, 7-11 in the GSAC and remains 2 game behind Biola for the fourth and final berth into next month’s NAIA regional playoffs.