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Lions Down BYU, Fall to #1 Lady Vols

Feb. 22, 2007

Box Score

CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - LMU earned an impressive 8-3 win over BYU in the first game of the Palm Springs Classic, scoring five runs over the final two innings of the contest. However, the Lions couldn't carry that momentum into their matchup with #1 Tennessee, falling to the Lady Vols 8-0 in five innings.

The tournament opener was a rematch from two weeks ago, as BYU took a 7-3 win over LMU in the first meeting of the season on February 10 in St. George, Utah.

LMU took an early lead in the opening game of the prestigious tournament, scoring two runs in the top of the first inning. Kirsten Slouber led off the game with a walk. J.J. Hartung was right behind, hitting a single to left field. The BYU leftfielder was unable to handle the ball, allowing Slouber to score from first. With Hartung at second base, Margo Pineda gave the Lions a 2-0 lead with an RBI double.

Melissa Dykema was outstanding in the game, facing the minimum nine batters through the first three innings. BYU scored two unearned runs in the fourth to tie things up, 2-2. The Lions took the lead again in the top of the fifth, taking advantage of an error and an RBI single by Pineda to go up, 3-2.

Again, BYU tied things up with its only earned run of the day in the bottom of the fifth to make it a 3-3 ballgame.

Tracy Cook's solo home run in the top of the sixth would give the Lions the lead for good. LMU added four more runs in the seventh. Chelsie Tysdal led off the inning with a walk and was replaced by pinch runner MiaSarah Cesena. Cesena moved to second on a bunt single by Kirsten Whitt. The Lions took advantage of a BYU error that allowed Cesena to score from second and gave the Lions runners at second and third with no outs. After a groundout, Pineda walked to load the bases. The free passes continued, as Kylie Conroy earned an RBI walk to give the Lions 6-3 lead. Errors continued to benefit the Lions, as two more runs scored as Cook reached first base on an error and the Lions' lead grew to 8-3.

BYU loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh, but Dykema forced a fielder's choice to end the game and earn the victory. The freshman pitcher allowed one earned run (two unearned) on seven hits with seven strikeouts and three walks. Pineda was 3-for-3 in the game with two RBI and one run scored. Cook drove in three runs in the win.

The top ranked Lady Vols awaited the Lions in game two of the day. The nation's top pitcher, Monica Abbott, was firing on all cylinders as she struck out 11 of the 12 batters she faced. Hartung grounded out in the first inning, but Abbott struck out the side in the second, third and fourth innings.

Tennessee scored two runs in the first, and took advantage of a Lion error to score six unearned runs in the third to take an 8-0 lead.

Conroy reached base on a Tennessee error to lead off the fifth inning, and stole second base, but Lady Vol reliever Megan Rhodes continued the strikeout trend by striking out all three batters she faced in the fifth inning.

Tiffany Pagano took the loss for the Lions, allowing two earned runs on three hits with three strikeouts in 2.2 innings. Tiffany Gonzales relieved her in the third, and allowed no earned runs on three hits in 1.1 innings.

The Lions (10-6) return to action on Friday for day two of the Palm Springs Classic to face #10 Oklahoma at 1:00pm.