March 14, 2006
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The LMU softball team secured a doubleheader sweep of Radford at Smith Field this afternoon, defeating the Highlanders 3-2 and 1-0. Margo Pineda drove home all three runs in the first game, and Hillaree Bennett's double off the wall scored MiaSarah Cesena in the bottom of the sixth inning in game two. Samantha Lavino tossed her first shutout of the season for the game two victory.
The Lions opened game one with a run in the bottom of the first inning. Kirsten Slouber led off with a single and advanced to second on a single by Bennett. In an attempt to pick off Bennett at first base, Radford right fielder Anne Tatum overthrew the first baseman, allowing Slouber to advance to third. A sacrifice fly by Pineda brought Slouber home and gave LMU a 1-0 lead.
Radford got the run back in the top of the second. Tatum walked to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a wild pitch. A sacrifice sent her to third base, and a double by Jennifer Everhart tied the game.
After two Lion strikeouts in the bottom of the third, Cesena singled to right field and advanced to second on a single by Bennett deep to the shortstop. With runners at first and second, Pineda doubled to left center field, driving both runs home and giving the Lions the 3-1 lead.
The Highlanders rallied in the top of the seventh, scoring a run to make it a 3-2 game, but Tiffany Pagano struck out Ashley Taylor looking to end the game and record the victory.
Radford outhit LMU, 7-5, but stranded 8 runners, while the Lions left just two runners on base. Pagano struck out seven and walked three, while Radford starter Taylor struck out six and did not walk a batter.
Bennett led LMU with two hits, while Pineda drove in all three runs. Everhart had two hits and an RBI for Radford.
Game two was a pitcher's duel from the start. Each team had just one hit in the first three innings and the game remained scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning.
With two outs, Cesena hit a double to the gap in left center field. Bennett followed her with a blast off the left field wall that just missed being a home run, but the double scored Cesena to give the Lions the 1-0 lead.
It would be all the team needed, as Lavino shut down Radford in the top of the seventh inning. After getting the first two batters out, she hit Ashley Carlson, and a throwing error by Cesena put runners at first and third. With the game-tying run just 60 feet away, Lavino forced Danielle Tompkins to ground out to first baseman Tracy Cook and end the game.
Lavino struck out five and walked two, allowing four hits to pick up her 8th win of the season and her first shutout of 2006. Breanna Felix was strong for Radford in the loss, striking out nine and allowing just three hits and no walks.
Cesena had two hits for the Lions, and Bennett had the game's only RBI. Taylor led the way for Radford with two hits, as the Highlanders again outhit LMU 4-3, but stranded eight runners for the second straight game.
LMU improves to 18-11 on the season, with its 10th win in 12 games. Radford, which had won five straight shutouts, falls to 16-10 on the season.
The Lions will return to action on Saturday, hosting Quinnipiac in a doubleheader starting at noon.
- GO LIONS! -