Shorthanded softball collapses against Canadian school
Eagles give up five runs in final inning to Simon Fraser. | Chak Hee Lo / THE CHIMES
Softball hosted some international guests on Feb. 6 as the Simon Fraser University Clan traveled from British Columbia, Canada to face the Eagles at Freedom Field. With the flu making its way through Biola’s roster, the severely understaffed Eagles came within two outs of a victory but ultimately fell to Simon Fraser, 8-7. Head coach Lori Coleman could only shake her head at how the illness had affected her team.
SHERLIN SPURS RALLY
“Six girls down,” Coleman said. “We had one player per position [including designated hitter, starting pitcher and relief pitcher] today and they almost pulled it out!”
Junior pitcher Kaile Chavez started game one and got instant run support when freshman designated hitter Ruth Munoz doubled then scored on an error in the bottom of the first. Chavez ran into trouble in the second frame, though, getting torched for four runs by the Clan in the top of the second while only recording one out. Coleman turned to freshman pitcher Paige Austin, who recorded a strikeout, walk and groundout to limit the scoring.
The Eagles rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the third. Munoz walked, reached second on a single from junior shortstop Andi Hormel, advanced to third on a sacrifice fly and scored on a single from senior third baseman Selina Sherlin. Junior outfielder Areana Ramos followed Sherlin’s RBI base hit with one of her own to bring home Hormel and even the score at three apiece. In the next frame, sophomore catcher Kayla Neff stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and knocked a go-ahead two-run single. Sherlin, the next batter, recorded another clutch hit to score Hormel and Neff and give the Eagles a 7-3 lead.
AUSTIN BLOWS LATE LEAD
Austin cruised at first, scattering three hits over the next four frames. However, with the Eagles two outs away from victory, Simon Fraser loaded the bases with two singles and a catcher’s interference. The wheels fell off from there as an exhausted Austin issued a bloop single, a walk, and a game-tying single up the middle. With no other options among her depleted pitching staff, Coleman kept her freshman in the game. Austin walked the next batter then issued a ground ball to Hormel that proved deep enough to score the tiebreaking run for the Clan. Austin escaped further damage, but SFU already had done enough as they retired the Eagles in the bottom of the frame to secure the victory.
“When Paige was going into the seventh inning with 90 pitches already, we knew it was gonna be tough,” Coleman said. “It’s good to know how far the freshman will take us and what her pitch count is, and so it’s definitely something that we will learn from and hopefully not be in that position where we’re not short [in pitchers] again.”
A doubleheader was originally scheduled, but the second game was canceled as the visitors had to catch a flight to Australia.
The Eagles (2-1) have until Feb. 9 to get healthy as they will make their annual trip to Big League Dreams in West Covina, Calif. to take on Menlo College and William Jessup University in some neutral site competition.