Biola softball falls to conference foes
Biola softball was swept on the road this week by Golden State Athletic Conference opponents Concordia University and Hope International University. On Tuesday, Hope International University walked off 3-2 in the first game and won 7-6 in eight innings in the second.
Eagles can’t hold lead against Hope
Biola carried a 2-1 lead into the final inning against Hope in their first game. Freshman Sarah Enriquez pitched through jams, allowing only one run despite seven hits and two walks through her first six innings. However, with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Enriquez's fine pitching gave way to a home run from Katie Gripp to win it for Hope International.
Biola's offense sputtered in game two, scattering four hits through six innings. Hope International rode their momentum from game one, scoring one run in the first and third innings. Just in time, Biola managed to string some hits together. In their final out, freshman Brooke Madrid struck with a double, driving in sophomore Natalie Parker and freshman Kayna Lamb. With a tied score, sophomore CeCe Luster put the Eagles ahead by two with a homer to left center field.
“We never give up and have developed the ability to come back from behind,” senior catcher Leslie Larson said.
Hope International rallied to score two, sending the game into extra innings. The Eagles again pulled ahead with a 6-4 lead, but Hope International strung enough hits together, scoring three runs to win the game on two hits and an error.
Concordia holds Biola hitless in game one
Against NAIA No. 1 Concordia, Biola nearly pulled out an upset, falling 5-3 in game one. Concordia then finished Biola off in game two, winning 7-0.
With two outs in the top of the sixth inning, Concordia pitcher Katie Cotta lost command and nearly blew a magnificent game. Earlier, she had only allowed two base runners with 10 strikeouts. After a walk to junior Chelsea Limm, Biola advanced the runner to second on a ground out to the pitcher. Luster reached on a walk and Parker was hit by a pitch. Freshman Keri Corey pinch hit and reached base on a dropped third strike, advancing all runners and scoring Biola’s first run. Cotta followed with a hit batter, and a walk to bring the score to 4-3 before the inning ended.
Concordia added an insurance run the next inning, finishing off Biola, and cruised to a second win later, despite allowing Biola's first and only hit of the day.
Biola played primarily with underclassmen, but can use their experiences from the season for growth.
“I am the only senior [and] through our trials and tribulations, I have seen this team grow in maturity and unselfishness,” Larson said.
With the team’s youth, they have an opportunity to surprise in the future.
“I’ve seen some phenomenal clutch plays made by our freshmen and sophomores,” Larson said. “Watch out, this young team will be a major contender in the coming years.”
The team is now just 1-13 in GSAC play and finishes off their season on Saturday with a home doubleheader against NAIA No. 8 Azusa Pacific University. The games start at noon.