April 21, 2007
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - In games described as pitcher's duels, it was a slew of home runs that stole the show. Tracy Cook hit a walk off solo home run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning to lead LMU to a 2-1 game one victory. Kirsten Whitt hit her second and third home runs of the day to leads the Lions to a 3-0 shutout in game two. Melissa Dykema earned her 20th victory of the season in the first game, while Tiffany Pagano tossed her third PCSC shutout for the game two victory.
The Lions have now won eight of their last nine games to improve to 35-16 on the season. They remain in first place in the PCSC with an 8-2 mark. Portland State drops to 18-29, 3-6 in PCSC play.
The Vikings struck first in game one, as back to back doubles by Stephanie Bean and Kimi Daniel gave Portland State a 1-0 lead.
LMU tied things up on a Whitt solo home run to left field in the bottom of the fifth inning, and things would remain tied until the bottom of the eighth.
Both teams had opportunities. Portland State loaded the bases after a leadoff double in the top of the fifth, but a groundout ended the threat. LMU stranded two runners in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Vikings had another good scoring opportunity in the eighth as a walk and a double put two runners in scoring position. But a strikeout and a groundout set the stage for Cook's heroics.
After the first two batters earned outs, Cook launched her fourth home run of the year high over the outfield wall to end the game and give LMU the win. There was no doubt as the ball left her bat, and it hit high on the net past the outfield.
Dykema earned her 20th win of the season to improve to 20-7 in her freshman year. The birthday girl allowed one earned run on seven hits with five strikeouts and three walks. Dykema becomes the third LMU pitcher to earn 20 wins, following Jennifer Heliotes (28 and 20) and Jenny Chambers (23).
Mandy Hill (16-16) took the loss for Portland State, allowing two earned runs on eight hits with eight strikeouts and one walk.
Game two was a pitcher's battle as well, with Pagano earning the win. The game was scoreless until the bottom of the third inning. Whitt led off the inning with a home run to center field to break the tie and give the Lions the 1-0 lead.
Portland State loaded the bases in the top of the fourth inning with no outs, but a groundout and a double play by Christine Foley kept the Vikings off the board.
LMU added to its lead in the bottom of the fourth. Kylie Conroy led off the inning with a walk. She advanced to second on a passed ball and moved to third on a sacrifice hit. She came home to score on a deep sacrifice fly to centerfield by Foley to give the Lions a 2-0 lead.
Whitt added an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth inning with her third home run of the day. Whitt entered today's game with two home runs on the year. Interestingly, she hit both of those in the same game against Canisius on March 17th.
Pagano was strong in the circle, striking out 10 to improve to 15-8 on the year and a perfect 5-0 in PCSC play. She has tossed shutouts in each of her three conference starts at home this season. She now has 21 career shutouts and is one away from tying the LMU career mark at 22.
Janice Damo allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits with three strikeouts and three walks in 5.2 innings. Hill finished out the game in the circle for PSU after the Lions loaded the bases in the bottom of the sixth.
LMU and Portland State return to action on Sunday to wrap up the PCSC series. The first game starts at 11:00am.
- GO LIONS! -