May 7, 2006
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - For the second straight day, the Lions and Toreros split a doubleheader. LMU picked up the 4-3 game one victory, scoring the game-winning run in the bottom of the sixth inning. San Diego took a 4-0 lead in the second inning of game two and held on for the 5-2 win. The Lions will wrap up the season next weekend at Portland State, playing three games that were rained out in April.
LMU now sits at 29-21 on the season, and 9-8 in PCSC action. San Diego finishes the season with a 22-24 record overall, 10-10 in conference play.
The Lions committed two errors in the top of the first to help San Diego take an early 1-0 lead in game one. LMU roared back in the bottom of the second inning, taking a 3-1 lead. Megan Ackerman led off the inning with the first of her two doubles in game one, and came home on a Kirsten Slouber RBI single. A ground ball by Margo Pineda was misplayed by USD first baseman Melissa Merchain which allowed two more LMU runs to score, putting the Lions ahead 3-1.
San Diego tied the game quickly, scoring two runs in the top of the third inning. USD used two hits, two walks and an illegal pitch by Lion starter Samantha Lavino to tie the game. Sophomore Tiffany Pagano relieved Lavino, forcing two outs to end the inning and keep the game tied.
LMU scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the sixth. Tracy Cook led off with a double, and advanced to third on a sacrifice hit by Brittany Bassett. Ackerman's second double of the game put LMU ahead, 4-3.
The USD lead off batter singled in the top of the seventh, but Pagano forced three straight outs to preserve the win.
Ackerman was the only Lion with multiple hits in game one, going 2-for-3 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored. Slouber was 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run. Pagano picked up the game one victory in relief, shutting out the Toreros over the final 4.2 innings. She allowed three hits and one walk, striking out five.
Pagano was in the circle again, starting game two for the Lions. However, she struggled in her fourth appearance of the weekend. After a scoreless first inning, she walked four batters and gave up a hit before Cook came into the game in relief. The Toreros took a 4-0 lead, using five walks and two hits in the inning.
LMU got on the board in the third inning when Slouber came home on a Hillaree Bennett RBI single to make it a 4-1 game.
USD added another run in the top of the fifth inning to make it a 5-1 game. The Lions cut the gap to 5-2 in the bottom of the sixth but could not get any closer. Bennett led off the inning with her second hit of the game, and scored on a Bassett double. LMU had the bases loaded with two outs, but could not convert.
Bennett, Bassett and Pineda each recorded two hits in the game. Pagano (14-13) suffered the loss after allowing four runs in 1.1 innings of work. Cook saw her most extensive action of the season, allowing one run on seven hits in 5.2 innings.
Pagano pitched 14.2 innings on Satuday and another 6.0 innings on Sunday. She now has 202 strikeouts for the season, breaking the LMU single season record for strikeouts. She registered 14 strikeouts this weekend, recording her 196th strikeout on Saturday. The previous record of 195 was set in 1999 by Jennifer Heliotes. Heliotes pitched 269.0 innings in 1999, while Pagano has pitched just 178.2 innings this season.
The Lions will wrap up the season with three makeup games at Portland State next Friday and Saturday. Portland State defeated Loyola Marymount 7-5 back on April 14 before the final three games of the series were postponed due to inclement weather. The start times for next weekend's series are expected to be announced Monday.
In the race for the PCSC title, Sacramento State took a big leap forward with a four game sweep of Portland State. The Hornets now lead the conference with a 14-6 record. The Vikings are now 12-5 in conference play, and need to sweep LMU next weekend to win their first conference title.
- GO LIONS! -