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Eagles’ doubleheader split at Vanguard shows team growth

Biola’s midseason struggles show a sign of ending with two good performances against Vanguard.   |   Amelia Mowry/THE CHIMES [file]

 

The last time Biola faced off against the Vanguard University Lions, they walked away with a pair of tough losses that ended a seven-game win streak and sparked a stretch where the Eagles went 3-12.

Playoff realization

The two teams faced off again on March 31, with the Eagles showing improvement in their ability to use all three dimensions of the game — getting solid hitting, stout defense and strong pitching. Those improvements led to Biola earning the split in the series, winning the first game 6-5 but losing the second 2-0.

“We have grown more in realizing that we can make the Golden State Athletic Conference tournament, and we can come out and win it and go to nationals again,” said senior outfielder Kasey Hormel. “We have been able to play good defense and have good pitching, but we don’t hit well, but we have been able to play all three levels of the game more consistently, and we have grown to that.”

While the Eagles lost the second game of the doubleheader 2-0, the team still did a good job in executing their game plan.

“We had a game plan going into the week, and we executed very well in the first game, but we were chasing the rise balls in second game and got behind in counts,” said head coach Lorie Coleman.

In-game adjustments

Current changes in how the team has been playing are a result of tinkering with lineups and improved pitching performances.

“We started out strong [this season], but we hit some struggles, and when Kimmy [Triolo] is strong, so is the team,” Coleman said. “We made some adjustments for these games, and they paid off.”

The Eagles look to build off of these adjustments as they come to the home stretch of this season. The first obstacle is a trip to Arizona where they will face Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at 2 p.m. on April 6 in a non-conference doubleheader.

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