Tigers Make It Two Over Princeton With A 4-3 Win
Stockton, Calif. - In a second battle of the Tigers, the Pacific softball team once again came out on top as the home Tigers took down Princeton, 4-3, on Saturday, March 24 to end day three of the Libby Matson Tournament. The win moved the Tigers to 3-0 at the tournament and 17-10 on the year while Princeton fell to 0-4 in Stockton and 3-16 on the year.
For the third time in as many days, the Tigers used a strong pitching, solid defense and just enough offense to secure the win at home at Bill Simoni Field to push their way to seven games over .500. Just as they did two days prior, the Tigers used a shutdown performance in the circle by sophomore Tori Shepard, this time in relief, to quiet the Princeton bats and take home the win. Entering the game in the sixth inning with Pacific leading by one, Shepard picked up where she left off on Thursday night, breezing through seven Princeton batters on her way to her sixth save of the season. For Shepard, the save tied Pacific's single season program record set by all-time great Cindy Ball during the 2002 season.
Shepard's relief appearance came in support of the Tigers' freshman hurler, Dani Bonnet, who went five strong before giving way to the sophomore. Bonnet looked to match Shepard's efforts from Thursday night when the sophomore one-hit Princeton, however, the Tigers from the East would not allow the freshman to come away with the shutout as they rallied in the fifth. Down 4-0, Princeton mounted their only offensive effort of the weekend against Pacific as it plated three runs on four hits to turn a potential blow out into a close affair. Despite the trouble in the fifth, Bonnet picked up the victory to move to 6-4 on the year as she left with the lead intact after junior Megan Allen turned a ground ball to third into a rally killing double play to end the fifth.
For Allen, the day proved to be a roller coaster ride as the junior committed a pair of errors at third while also providing an array of Sportcenter worthy plays. Despite the up-and-down day in the field, Allen was nothing but up at the plate as she finished her day 1-for-1 in three total trips including roping a RBI double to left-center in the third which plated the first run of the afternoon. She would add a walk and a sacrifice to her day's totals to round out her performance.
Prior to Allen's double in the second, Pacific started its big inning with a single from sophomore Megan Foglesong, the first of a three-hit effort from the Tiger outfielder. After a fielder's choice and a single by sophomore Gabby Goyette, the Tigers would grab the lead on the Allen double. The hit for Goyette was the first of the season as she slashed a ball through the left side to put two runners aboard.
With Allen and Goyette in scoring position, junior Megan Hom drove home run number two of the inning with an infield single to the 5-6 hole. From there, the Tigers took a free run from the Princeton pitching staff as both sophomore Kelsey Rodriguez and junior Nikki Armagost worked walks, the last of which pushed home the third run of the inning for the Tigers.
An inning later, Pacific tacked on what would-be the winning run on a ground ball to the right side by Goyette, who picked up her first career game-winning RBI. Goyette's RBI was made possible after Foglesong started the inning with a double to right-center, followed by a sacrifice from junior Amy Moore.
Despite posting their second-straight 10 hit performance against Princeton, the Tigers were unable to completely break the game open as Pacific stranded 11 runners on base, including leaving the bases loaded in both the second and third innings. For the Tigers, seven of the 11 left on were in scoring position with four finishing the inning just 60 feet from paydirt when the final out was recorded. Overall, Pacific got multi-hit performances out of Matson, Foglesong and Goyette while six of nine batters in the lineup recorded at least one hit.
The Tigers will close out play at the Libby Matson Tournament on Sunday, March 25 when they take on the Saint Mary's Gaels in a doubleheader at Bill Simoni Field. The first game is scheduled for 12:00 pm, but the time may change due to rain in the forecast.