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Softball storms through Hawaii

The Eagles win their first six PacWest games in their successful road trip.  |  Photo Illustration by Chak Hee Lo / THE CHIMES

 

After starting the season with an 11-3 nonconference record, softball headed to Hawaii over spring break to start their inaugural PacWest slate in road series against Chaminade University, Hawaii Pacific University, and University of Hawaii Hilo. The Eagles went 6-2 over the eight-game trip, sweeping Chaminade and HPU but falling short against Hilo.

BIOLA OUTSLUGS CHAMINADE

Senior starting pitcher Terri Van Dagens snapped a personal scoreless streak in her PacWest debut on Feb. 26, allowing three runs in her four innings of work. The Eagles got their offense going late, scoring in each of the final four innings to secure the 8-3 victory. Sophomore catcher Kayla Neff, junior outfielder Areana Ramos and freshman pinch hitter Ari Gonzales all homered while freshman pitcher Paige Austin threw three scoreless innings in relief to shut the door.

The Eagles struck first in the nightcap of that day’s doubleheader, scoring three in the opening frame. However, Chaminade answered with a grand slam in the second to go up 4-3. The Eagles came back with a four-run third, but Chaminade again fought back to tie the game at seven. The Eagles got the last laugh, however, when sophomore outfielder Haley Martinez scored the go-ahead run on an error in the sixth for the eventual 9-7 win.

The first game on Feb. 27 started with a bang when sophomore outfielder Jay Perez laced a home run in the first. The Eagles dominated from there, eventually evoking the run rule in a 12-0 blowout while Van Dagens threw a complete game. Game two proved much closer, as the Silverswords rallied to cut a three-run deficit to one off sophomore starter Paula Damas, but junior reliever Kaile Chavez combined with Austin to toss four shutout innings and preserve the 4-3 victory.

EAGLES CLAW BACK AGAINST SHARKS

Van Dagens and Austin teamed up for another impressive tag-team performance on March 1 at Hawaii Pacific, leading the Eagles to a 4-0 win over the Sharks by allowing just four hits over the entire game. In the second game of the day, it seemed as though the Sharks’ pitchers would return the favor, but freshman outfielder Ruth Munoz’s RBI double in the top of the seventh tied the game at one and forced extra innings. The Eagles finally erupted in the ninth, as Neff singled home the go-ahead run then scored on a three-run double from junior designated hitter Hailey Boyett. The Eagles won, 5-1, extending their win streak to 13 games.

HILO QUIETS BIOLA’S BATS

Van Dagens again dominated in the opening game of the Eagles’ March 3 doubleheader against Hawaii-Hilo, but this time the offense could not back her up. The Eagles’ hitters threatened in each of the final two innings but could not score a single run, while the Vulcans tagged Austin for two runs in the bottom of the sixth to win 2-0 and snap Biola’s win streak. In the final game, the Vulcans jumped out to an early 4-0 lead off some costly Eagles errors. Biola came just short of erasing that deficit, ultimately losing 4-3.

The Eagles are now 17-5 on the season and 6-2 in conference play. They will face off against William Woods University in their return to Freedom Field on March 6.

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