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Bennett's Blasts Lead Lions

March 18, 2006

Box Score

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Hillaree Bennett was a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate with two home runs and six RBI to lead LMU to a doubleheader sweep over Quinnipiac this afternoon at Smith Field. Tiffany Pagano matched her career-high with 13 strikeouts and pitched a shutout, 6-0, in game one. Bennett hit a grand slam in the third inning to lead LMU to a 7-2 victory in game two. LMU has now won 12 of its last 14 games and is 20-11 on the season.

The Lions led off the game with a run in the bottom of the first. Kirsten Slouber doubled to lead off the game, and scored on an RBI single by Bennett. The Lions added four more runs in the bottom of the third. Three singles and three walks produced the four runs, led by Megan Ackerman's two RBI single.

Ahead 5-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, Bennett hit an insurance home run to right field to put LMU ahead 6-0.

Pagano (9-6) had another strong game, striking out 13 batters and allowing just two hits. She recorded her fourth shutout of the year and her 13th complete game. She walked just two, and no Bobcat batter reached third base.

LMU outhit Quinnipiac 13-2, led by Bennett's two, while Ackerman, Darcy Pagnini and Brittany Bassett added two hits each.

In game two, the Lion offense needed a few innings before it got going. Tracy Cook, Slouber and MiaSarah Cesena all walked to load the bases for Bennett. The freshman outfielder hit a high home run to left field for LMU's first hit of the game, and made the score 4-0 Lions. It was Bennett's second home run of the day and her 10th of the season.

After Quinnipiac put up its first run of the day in the top of the fifth inning on a double steal, Bennett answered back in the bottom of the fifth. She singled to lead off the inning and stole second base. She advanced to third on a fly ball by Pineda and scored on an RBI single by Ackerman.

The Bobcats scored again in the top of the sixth, but the Lions put up two more runs in the bottom of the inning to take a 7-2 lead. Kirsten Whitt singled to the shortstop and advanced on a groundout. She came home on a Cesena triple to right field. Cesena scored on a ground ball error by the Quinnipiac second baseman to give the Lions a 7-2 lead.

Samantha Lavino (9-4) picked up the victory, allowing two runs on five hits with eight strikeouts and two walks. Jessica Skaare took the loss for Quinnipiac, allowing four earned runs on five hits with four walks and six strikeouts.

Bennett was the only Lion with multiple hits in game two, while Cesena and Ackerman had a hit and an RBI each.

LMU wins its fifth straight game, and improves to 20-11 on the season. Quinnipiac falls to 4-16 on the season.

The Lions return to action on Wednesday when they host Ohio State in a doubleheader at Smith Field starting at 1:00pm.