The University of Redlands softball team took on non-conference opponent Willamette University (OR) in a doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon at the Field of Dreams. The teams battled back and forth through both games for a split-pair of one-run decisions by the same score of 5-4.
Sophomore pitcher Lindsey Mifsud (Belmont, CA) entered the circle for game one, as she made quick work of the first three Bearcat batters by going three-up, three-down.
Despite giving up a two-run shot in the top of the second, the Bulldogs battled back in the bottom of the third by exploiting multiple Willamette errors to plate three runs. After sophomore second basemen Jordyn Smith (Highland, CA) dinged a base knock to lead off the inning, senior centerfielder Amanda Ang (Santa Cruz, CA) laced a single through the right side and advanced all the way to third on two errors in the field, which also scored J. Smith. Ang subsequently stole home on a successful double-steal situation. The Maroon and Gray added the third run on yet another Bearcat miscue.
However, the Bearcats rallied again in the fourth to add two runs. But Redlands plated the equalizer in the very next inning. Junior designated player Shannon Skrzynski (Pomona, CA) singled through the left side and made her way to third, two batters later. Junior catcher Lali Garza (Granite Bay, CA) laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to score Skrzynski for the tying run.
Unfortunately for the home team, Willamette knocked a solo shot in the seventh inning that resulted in a heartbreaking 4-5 loss.
With redemption on their minds, the Bulldogs looked to sophomore pitcher Mika Imoto (Vista, CA) to enter the circle for the nightcap. She too sat all three Willamette batters in order through the first inning.
Taking control of both sides of the game, Imoto led off the second inning with a double and then touched home on junior catcher Olivia Vierra's (Burlingame, CA) RBI-single. Ang followed suit by sending a base knock up the middle for an RBI. Skrzynski was due next and continued the hit parade by going yard over the left-field fence for the Bulldogs' 4-0 advantage.
Nonetheless, the visiting team laced together a few base hits in the subsequent inning to put two runs on the board. Again in the fifth, with a runner on, a Willamette player homered to left field to equalize the score at 4-4.
With two outs in the bottom of the sixth and the score still knotted, Skrzynski made her way to second due to an error in the field. Senior left fielder Marissa Romero (Manteca, CA) also reached base on a Bearcat error that also allowed Skrzynski to put Redlands in front for the win.
Freshman pitcher Nicole Stanzione (San Marcos, CA) entered the game in the fifth inning and secured the final nine outs needed for the close 5-4 victory.
The Bulldogs (9-15, 5-7 SCIAC) look forward to hosting the University of La Verne Leopards on Friday, March 31, for a conference doubleheader at 2 p.m. at the Field of Dreams.