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Historic Home Opener at Smith Field

March 7, 2006

Box Score

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - In a historic day for the LMU softball program, the Lions swept the University of Pennsylvania in the first two games played at Smith Field. LMU hit eight home runs for the day, including two by Hillaree Bennett and Brittany Bassett. LMU won game one, 8-0, in six innings, and the victory marked head coach Gary Ferrin's 400th career win. The Lions knocked off the Quakers 13-5 in game two.

The Lions started things off with a bang in the bottom of the first inning of game one. Kirsten Slouber led off the inning with a single, and advanced to second on a sacrifice hit by Margo Pineda. Freshman outfielder Bennett blasted a two-run home run to left field on the first pitch she saw the give the Lions a quick 2-0 lead.

LMU tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the second inning. Darcy Pagnini drew a walk to open the inning, and advanced to second on a fielder's choice by MiaSarah Cesena. With one out, freshman Slouber hit her first career home run, a three-run blast to left field to give LMU a 5-0 lead.

Kirsten Whitt drove home Chelsie Tysdal in the bottom of the third to put LMU ahead 6-0 after three innings.

Lindsay Parmer relieved Penn starter Olivia Mauro, and was able to slow down the Lion offense. LMU went scoreless in the fourth and the fifth innings, but Pineda led off the bottom of the sixth with a walk. Bennett then blasted a home run into the LMU tennis courts behind left field to end the game with a two-run home run. The runs put LMU ahead 8-0, invoking the mercy rule.

Tiffany Pagano pitched a brilliant game, allowing just one hit in 6.0 innings to pick up her fourth win of the year, and her second shutout of the season. It was also her seventh complete game of the season. She struck out 10 and allowed just one walk for the victory.

Game two was more of the same. With LMU as the designated road team, the Lions jumped ahead quickly in the top of the first inning. With runners at first and second, Megan Ackerman drove home the first run of the day with a double to center field. Bassett gave LMU a 4-0 lead when she hit her first home run of the year to left field.

The second inning was even better for the Lions. Cesena walked to lead off the inning, and stole second base. She came home on Slouber's second home run of the day to left center field. Pineda followed it up with a solo home run to right field. Emily Denstedt replaced Penn starter Michelle Rehm, but the Lions kept scoring.

Bennett singled off of the new pitcher, and advanced to third on an Ackerman single. With two runners on, Bassett hit her second home run of the day to give the Lions a 10-0 lead in the top of the second.

After a scoreless third, LMU added three more runs in the top of the fourth. Ackerman singled up the middle and advanced to second on a wild pitch. She advanced to third on a single by Pagnini. Both freshmen scored on a home run by Cesena, the first of her LMU career.

Penn finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Quakers used four hits and took advantage of two LMU errors and a walk to score four runs and make it a 13-4 game.

The Lions went scoreless in the top of the fifth, and the Quakers added a run in the bottom of the fifth, but could not get any closer and the game ended after five innings. With the bases loaded and two outs, catcher Pagnini made a diving catch of a pop up behind home plate to end the inning and the game.

Lavino recorded the win, allowing five unearned runs on four hits and three walks. She struck out five in 4.0 innings. Krystal Kehr did not allow a run in relief, striking out two and allowing two hits for the final outs of the game.

For the day, Bennett finished 4-for-5 with two home runs, four RBI and four runs scored. She was walked intentionally twice on the day. Pineda was 4-for-5 with one home run, and two runs scored. Slouber was 4-for-6 with two home runs, five RBI and three runs scored.

Every Lion started recorded at least one hit for the day, and every player on the roster saw playing time in the doubleheader.

The win in game one marked the 400th career victory for LMU head coach Gary Ferrin. Now in his 12th season with the Lions, Ferrin has a career record of 401-303-1. All of his victories have come as the leader of the Lions.

The Lions improve to 10-9 on the season, while Penn falls to 4-2.

LMU continues play in the LMU Tournament tomorrow, hosting Mercer in a doubleheader starting at noon. Penn comes back to Smith Field on Thursday for more games in the LMU Tournament.

- GO LIONS! -