Stanford, Calif. – Shaking off a rough start to their day in the game prior, the Pacific softball team rebounded in a big way to take down Florida Gulf Coast (FGCU), 10-6, on Friday, Mar. 8 at the Stanford Louisville Slugger Classic. The win for the Tigers earned them a split on the day after falling to Minnesota, 1-0, in the morning session. Overall, Pacific improved to 14-8 on the year while the Eagles fell to 14-7.
After seeing their offense lay dormant in the morning, the Tigers' bats got hot in the afternoon as Pacific racked up 11 hits and 10 runs in the win. Junior Megan Foglesong led the attack as she finished 3-for-4 with two doubles in the three-hole for the Tigers. Behind Foglesong, the Tigers got multi-hit games out of senior Megan Hom and the freshmen, Taylor Brink and Melanie Habib.
Offensively, the Tigers struck for the first time in bottom of the third inning as Pacific erased a 1-0 deficit with a pair of runs. Pacific was down one after the Eagles launched a solo home run in the top of the inning to score first.
Setting up the scoring threat was the top of the order as freshman Sara Anderson worked a one-out walk while Hom added a slap single back to the pitcher. Hom's speed allowed the Tigers to put two on while Anderson's speed showed a play later as the freshman beat a throw to third on a ground ball to the left side that loaded the bases for the meat of the order. With the bases loaded, the Tigers plated their runs on a walk to senior Nikki Armagost and a ground ball to the right side by junior Taylor Petty.
Two innings later the Tigers broke open the game as Pacific sent 10 to the plate and scored six runs in the fifth. Two singles by Hom and Foglesong along with an errant throw on a sacrifice bunt gave Pacific the life it needed for the big inning. After a walk plated the first run, the Tigers hit their way to the lead with a single from senior Amy Moore and a pair of doubles from the freshmen in the middle, Brink and Habib. Pacific would just miss ending the game early with a ninth run in the contest.
That near miss for the Tigers gave the Eagles a chance to respond as the Eagles plated four in the top of the sixth inning to make it a contest once again. Just as Pacific picked up help from an error in the fifth, the Eagles were helped by a Tiger error in the inning as the start of a double play was dropped by Pacific, giving FGCU two runners on with no outs in the inning. From there Armagost, the Tigers' starter, literally lost control as the senior hit a pair of batters and walked another to gift two runs back. Relieved by freshman Carly Mortensen, the Tigers would give up two more runs in the inning, but the young hurler would stop the bleeding and keep Pacific's lead intact.
Seeing their lead cut to just three, the Tigers picked up some instant offense in the bottom of the sixth when Armagost took out her frustrations from the top of the inning on 2-1 pitch. With Foglesong on in front of her, Armagost launched a mammoth shot over the right-center wall to add a pair of insurance runs to the Tigers lead and help insure her victory in the circle. The home run was the third of the year for the senior and 14th of her career.
The two runs would provide enough breathing room for Mortensen in the seventh as she was able to shake off a middle of the order rally that got the Eagles a sixth run in the game. In relief, Mortensen earned her first career save and the Tigers' first save of the year as she went 2.0 innings while giving up two hits and one run while striking out three. Mortensen was eligible for the save as she entered the game with the bases loaded and no outs in the sixth inning with the Tigers clutching to an 8-3 lead. For Armagost, the victory moved her record to 8-2 on the year as she went 5.0 innings while giving up four hits and five runs, only two of which were earned.
Pacific is back in action on Saturday, Mar. 9 when the Tigers do it all over again with games against Minnesota and FGCU. The first game for the Tigers is at 10:00 am with the second immediately following.