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Lions, Hornets Split in PCSC Opening Day

April 8, 2006

Box Score

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - Tiffany Pagano pitched a one-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts to lead LMU to a split with Sacramento State in the first doubleheader of conference action on Saturday at Smith Field. The Lions blanked the Hornets 3-0 in game one, but fell 6-0 in game two. The four-game series continues at Smith Field with a doubleheader on Sunday starting at noon.

Lindy Winkler led off the game with a hit up the middle for the Hornets, but it would be their only hit of the game. Pagano was impressive, striking out 12 and not allowing a single walk to record her fifth shutout of the year and her 14th complete game. Three times in the game she hit the leadoff batter with a pitch, but used strikeouts and strong defense to keep the Hornets off the board.

The Lions took the lead in the second inning. Tracy Cook led off the inning with a single, and advanced to third on Brittany Bassett's single to right field. She gave the Lions a 1-0 lead on Darcy Pagnini's RBI single to left field. With runners at first and second with one out, Kirsten Slouber loaded the bases with a single, and LMU's second run of the game scored on MiaSarah Cesena's RBI single to center field.

LMU added an insurance run in the top of the fifth. Hillaree Bennett led off, hitting a hard line drive at Sac State left fielder Hilary Johnson. The ball bounced off Johnson's glove, allowing Bennett to advance to second base. Bennett advanced to third on a deep fly out by Megan Ackerman, and scored on a Bassett single to left field.

Nikki Cinque (9-8) took the loss for Sac State, allowing two earned runs on eight hits with six strikeouts and two walks. Pagano improves to 10-7 with the win. It is her first one hit 7.0 inning shutout of the season. She had another one hit shutout in a 6.0 inning win over Pennsylvania on March 7th.

Bassett was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Slouber and Cesena also had two hits for the Lions. Winkler had Sac State's only hit of the game.

The Hornet bats lit up in the second game, but the story was Sac State pitcher Cassie Cervantes. The freshman pitcher recorded 16 strikeouts, and her first eight outs of the game were by strikeout.

The Hornets took the lead in the top of the second, taking advantage of a costly error to put three runs on the board. Amy Tompkins led of the inning with a slow roller back to LMU pitcher Samantha Lavino, but the pitcher could not handle the ball cleanly, allowing Tompkins to reach base. After two strikeouts, the Hornets put together a string of hits, including a bases clearing double by Winkler, to go ahead 3-0.

LMU broke her Cervantes' no hitter in the third inning when Cesena used her speed to beat out a ground ball to the shortstop. She advanced to third on a pair of wild pitches and two walks, but Cervantes forced Ackerman to pop up to the catcher to end the threat.

Cervantes walked eight, including four walks to Bennett, but the Lions struggled to put the bat on the ball to bring any runs home. LMU's only other hit came in the fourth inning, when a high pop up by Pagnini dropped in the infield for a hit.

Teri Ann Caoagan gave the Hornets a 5-0 lead in the fifth inning, hitting a two run home run to left center. Sac State added one more run in the top of the seventh. Cinque led off with a single to center field and scored on a double to the gap in right center by Gloria Toledo.

Winkler led the Hornets with a 2-for-4 game with three RBI. Coaagan was 1-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored.

Bennett was 0-for-0 at the plate with four walks, bringing her walk total for the day to five. Cesena and Pagnini had LMU's only two hits of the game.

Lavino (9-6) took the loss for LMU, allowing two earned runs on five hits with six strikeouts and two walks in 5.0 innings of work. Krystal Kehr closed out the game for LMU, allowing one run on two hits with three strikeouts and one walk in 2.0 innings.

Cervantes improves to 7-4 on the year, striking out 16 with eight walks and two hits.

LMU is now 21-14 on the year, 1-1 in the first day of PCSC play. Sacramento State is 20-13, and also 1-1 in conference play.

The two teams will battle again on Sunday in another doubleheader at Smith Field.