Pacific Powers Past Valparaiso, 7-2
Tempe, Ariz. - Opening up day two play of the Diamond Devil Invitational, the Pacific softball team found its power stroke once again to blast their way past Valparaiso, 7-2, on Saturday, March 10. The win was the third of the tournament for the Tigers as they improved to 13-8 on the year while the Crusaders rough weekend continued with their fourth loss in Tempe to fall to 11-7.
For the first time on the weekend the Tigers found themselves trailing the opposition as Valparaiso jumped out front in the top of the first inning with a single run against junior Nikki Armagost. Just as the Tigers typically do, the Crusaders manufactured their opening score by turning what was essentially an infield single into a run with heads up baserunning and a sacrifice fly.
Down one and heading to the plate for the first time in the game, Pacific made short work of Valparaiso's lead behind a pair of hits and a free pass. The big hit of the inning came off the bat of junior Amy Moore who launched her first home run of the season over the left field wall with two Tigers aboard to give her battery mate all the runs she would need to pick up the victory. Moore's home run came after a double by sophomore Kelsey Rodriguez got the Tigers their first hit of the game and a free pass to senior Nicole Matson when the Crusaders pitched around Pacific's slugger to get to the junior catcher.
Holding a two run lead, the Tigers doubled their advantage in the bottom of the second when Rodriguez roped her second double of the game in as many at bats to plate a pair of her teammates. Rodriguez's double to left center brought home juniors Megan Allen and Megan Hom who had each reached base in front of the sophomore with a pair of two-out singles.
Continuing their onslaught in the third, Pacific picked up its final two runs of the contest with its second round-tripper of the afternoon. With Matson aboard via a leadoff single, sophomore Megan Foglesong got in on the fun as the Tigers' starting right fielder laced a line drive over the left-center field wall to bring Pacific's run total to seven. The home run was the second of the season for the sophomore after picking up her first career home run a week prior at Bill Simoni Field.
With her offense punishing the Crusaders at the plate, Armagost took care of Valparaiso in the field as the junior cruised to her fifth win of the season. Scattering just six hits in the game, Armagost gave up just two runs, one coming off of a two-out, solo home run by Jessie Marinec in the fourth. Additionally, Armagost struck out four in the game while walking just one to move to 5-2 on the year. For the junior, the victory was her 37th career win and moved her into a tie for No. 10 on Pacific's all-time wins list with Lisa DeBenedetti (1987-91).
The Tigers hit the field for the fourth time at the invitational later in the day when they take on the host and No 5 ranked Arizona State Sun Devils at approximately 5:00 pm PST.