Stockton, Calif. - With the No. 3 ranked Washington Huskies on the ropes for the second straight day, the Pacific softball team found themselves in the midst of a bad dream as the Tigers dropped another late heartbreaker, 6-4, on Sunday, March 4. The loss dropped the Tigers to 9-8 on the year and handed the Huskies the 2012 Louisville Slugger Invitational title as Washington improved to 19-1 overall and 5-0 at the tournament.
Just as they had done the day before, the Tigers battled back from an early deficit to put themselves in position for one of the largest upsets in program history. Just as they had done the day before, the Tigers came up just short as the Huskies took advantage of defensive miscues by Pacific to stun the Tigers late.
Leading 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Tigers saw three runs cross the board with two outs in the inning to watch the Huskies steal away the lead with just one inning to play. The damage in the inning for the Tigers was primarily self inflicted as Pacific committed four errrors to give up all three runs after a pair of singles by the bottom of the Huskie order.
Prior to the rough sixth inning, the Tigers had come alive offensively against the No. 3 team in the country, storming back from three runs down to take their first lead of the weekend against the Huskies. After giving up a pair of runs in the third and a single run in the fourth to fall behind 3-0, Pacific mounted a comeback in the top of the fifth inning when nine Tigers stepped to the plate and three came back across to tie the game.
Starting with sophomore Megan Foglesong, the Tigers would pick up five hits in the inning to do their damage as Foglesong and senior Alexa Rivera singled to start the inning and set the table for the top of the order. From there, junior Megan Hom delivered the big blow of the inning with a two-RBI double to left center, putting Pacific within striking distance. After a double by sophomore Kelsey Rodriguez was lost in the sun, junior Nikki Armagost delivered the third run of the inning with a single back up the middle. Pacific would load the bases with one out in the inning, but come out with no more runs, a mistake that would ultimately prove costly in the end.
Despite missing out on more in the fifth, the Tigers took the lead in the sixth when Foglesong once again kick started the inning with a double to left center. After moving to third on a sacrifice, junior Megan Allen brought her all the way around to score to give Pacific the 4-3 lead.
Pacific's lead would only last a few batters as freshman Dani Bonnet saw her potential upset go up in smoke in the blink of an eye in the sixth inning. For Bonnet, the loss was her second-straight hard luck loss of the weekend to the Huskies after being tagged for the defeat on an unearned run the day before. In all, Bonnet threw 5.2 strong innings for the Tigers in the circle giving up seven hits and six runs, three earned, to fall to 3-3 on the year. Sophomore Tori Shepard picked up the final out of the game for the Tigers in the sixth, retiring the only batter she faced on four pitches to end the inning.
Offensively, Foglesong found her hitting stroke against the Huskies as the sophomore finished the day 3-for-4 at the plate while adding a pair of runs scored. Hom finished right behind her outfield mate with a 2-for-4 showing, adding two RBI and one run scored to the Tigers' efforts.
For the Huskies, Victoria Hayward and Lindsay Monk each posted two hits on the day while Kaitlin Inglesby grabbed two of Washington's three RBI with her only hit of the day, a single to right field. Bryanna Walker picked up the win for the Huskies as she went six innings with eight hits and four runs against. She added seven strike outs and two walks to her final totals before giving way to Inglesby for the save.
Pacific will be back in action on Tuesday, March 5 when the Tigers hit the road for a single game at San Jose State beginning at 2:00 pm