AZUSA, Calif. – Jessica Mikesell’s 1-out double off the centerfield wall scored Rachel Yoshizu and Rachel Alkire to snap a 1-1 tie in the sixth inning and lift Azusa Pacific to a doubleheader sweep of UC San Diego in nonconference softball action Thursday evening.
Azusa Pacific won the first game 7-2 before Mikesell’s heroics gave the Cougars a 3-1 victory in the nightcap.
In that second game, Brittni Carino’s 1-out single scored Breanne Cope to put the Tritons up 1-0 in the sixth inning. However, Cougar freshman Natalie Mickelson led off the bottom half of the inning with her team-leading 11th home run of the season to not only snap out of a 2-for-26 slump but also knot the game at 1-1. Alkire followed with a 1-out single and catcher Shawna Paxton laced a double to right field to move Alkire to third, setting up Mikesell’s game-winning hit on the next at-bat.
Junior Michelle Coleman struck out a season-high 6 and scattered 7 hits to pick up the complete-game victory and improve to 8-4 on the season.
In the opening game, the Cougars used a 4-hit, 4-run fourth inning to break open a close game and assume a 6-1 lead. Cassi Sweeney’s double to left field scored Megan Alkire and Mickelson to cap the inning.
Azusa Pacific fell behind 1-0 in the first when the third batter of the game, Jamie Hurst, cranked her third home run of the season, a solo shot over the leftfield wall.
The Cougars answered with 2 runs in the bottom of the second. Lori Shimasaki’s bunt single scored Tami Carter from third base to give Azusa Pacific a 2-1 lead it would not relinquish.
Sophomore Justine Barnett added a solo inside-the-park home run in the fifth inning to complete the Cougar scoring.
Pitcher Kris Franks worked around 8 hits, striking out 2 Tritons while pushing her record to a team-best 17-8 on the season.
For the night, Shimasaki was 4-for-8 at the plate while Megan Alkire was 3-for-6.
With the sweep, Azusa Pacific improves to 31-15 overall. UC San Diego falls to 18-28.