March 8, 2006
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - A day after the LMU hitters had a field day at Smith Field, the Lion pitchers ruled the day as LMU swept Mercer 3-0 and 3-1 in day two of the LMU Tournament. Tiffany Pagano picked up her second straight shutout and struck out a career-high 13 batters in the first game, and Samantha Lavino struck out 12 batters to pick up the win in game two.
Pagano recorded three strikeouts for the first three outs of the game, and had a strikeout in all but one inning. Mercer never got past second base in the game, and reached second base just once.
The game would remain 1-0 until the bottom of the sixth inning. With one out, Kirsten Slouber hit a single to left field, and advanced to second on Margo Pineda's single to center field. With two outs, Tracy Cook hit a high ball to right field. The wind was blowing, but Mercer right fielder Crystal Condra got under the ball, and could not keep it in her glove. Both runners came in to score to put LMU ahead 3-0.
With a 3-0 lead heading into the top of the seventh, Pagano struck out the side to end the game and record her second straight shutout. She allowed just three hits for the day, and has allowed just four hits in her last 11.0 innings of work.
Stephanie Rossman took the loss for Mercer, allowing just one earned run on four hits with five strikeouts and no walks in 6.0 innings of work.
Mercer got on the board at the beginning of game two. Katie Rosentreter took a 1-1 pitch to right field for the leadoff home run, but it would be the only run that the Bears would score for the day.
Lavino shut down Mercer after that, allowing just three more hits over the next 6.0 innings of work. She struck out a season-high 12 batters over 7.0 innings. She struck out two batters in five of the seven innings.
The Lions got the run back in the bottom of the inning. Slouber again sparked the offense, leading off the inning with a single to center field. She advanced to second on a Pineda groundout, and advanced to third on a Hillaree Bennett groundout. A wild pitch by Rosentreter brought Slouber home to tie the score.
The game was tied, but again the Lions scraped together a pair of runs late in the game. Darcy Pagnini led off the fifth with a single to center field, and advanced to second on a sacrifice hit by MiaSarah Cesena. Pinch runner Nicole Levine advanced to third on a passed ball. Slouber walked to put runners at first and third, and Pineda brought Levine home with a single up the middle. With Slouber at third base, Rosentreter had another wild pitch that allowed Slouber to score and put the Lions ahead 3-1.
The Bears had a good chance in the top of the sixth inning. Kelley Bretscher led off the inning with a double to left field and advanced to third on a single by Sarah Harding. With runners at first and third and two outs, Lavino forced April Cunningham to ground out and end the Mercer threat.
Lavino recorded two strikeouts and a groundout in the top of the seventh to end the game and pick up her sixth win of the season. Rosentreter took the loss, allowing three runs on six hits and one walk. She struck out nine batters.
For the day, Slouber continued to excel at the top of the Lion lineup. She was 3-for-5 in the doubleheader, scoring three of LMU's six runs. She also walked once and stole a base. Pineda was 3-for-6 with a double, an RBI and one run scored.
The Lions continue play in the LMU Tournament tomorrow, as four games will be played at Smith Field. Penn and Cal State Northridge face off in the first game of the day at 9:00am. The Matadors will take on Virginia in the day's second game at 11:00am. LMU will face Virginia in the third game of the day at 1:00pm, and the Lions and the Quakers face off in the day's finale at 3:00pm.
With the fourth straight win, LMU improves to 12-9 on the season, while Mercer falls to 5-11.
- GO LIONS! -