Tigers Split Day One Action At The Judi Garman

#13 Alex Steinmehl - Photo by: Wilma Beumeler
#13 Alex Steinmehl - Photo by: Wilma Beumeler
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Fullerton, Calif. – Beginning play at the 2013 Judi Garman Tournament, the Pacific softball team split a pair of games as the Tigers fell 9-0 (5 inn.) to No. 1 Oklahoma while downing NC State, 6-3. The Tigers moved to 15-12 on the year with the split. 

Game 1
(1) Oklahoma 9 – Pacific 0 (5inn.)

For the first time since the 2008 season the Tigers went head-to-head with the No. 1 team in the land as Pacific faced 2012 national runner-up and the odds-on favorite to take the 2013 title Sooners from Oklahoma. Taking on the vaunted Sooner lineup, the Tigers feel behind early as Oklahoma jumped on Pacific in the first and never looked back.

Dealing with hot bats and a tight zone, sophomore Dani Bonnet gave up four runs in the first inning of action as the Sooners hit a pair of two-run home runs to take the early lead. An inning later, the Sooners used station-to-station softball to tack on three more runs as a trio of singles and a walk did the damage against Pacific. 

Down seven, the Tigers went to freshman Carly Mortensen in the bottom of the third and saw their young pitcher coast through the inning without giving up a run. An inning later, however, Mortensen was not as lucky as miscues in the field and an ever tightening strike zone cost the freshman a clean slate in the fourth and gave the Sooners the runs they would need to end the contest early. 

Offensively, the Tigers put runners on in the first, second and fifth innings of play, but could not score against All-American Keilani Ricketts. In the first, the Tigers had their best chance when junior Megan Foglesong singled in the hole on the left-side of the infield and stole second to move into scoring position. In all Ricketts improved to 12-0 on the season as she struck out 10 and walked two in five innings pitched. Bonnet fell to 2-6 in the circle after giving up five hits and seven runs in two innings pitched. Mortensen, in relief, gave up just two hits and walked one while giving up two runs, only one of which was earned.

Game 2
Pacific 6 – NC State 3

Rebounding from their early day loss, the Tigers found their winning formula against NC State as Pacific snapped a four-game skid with a three run win over the Wolf Pack. Getting timely pitching and hitting, the Tigers were able to jump out front of NC State early and hold on late for the victory.

Defensively, the Tigers picked up yet another stellar outing in the circle out of freshman Carly Mortensen (2-1) as the first-year pitcher was called upon for four innings of relief duty to secure the win. After throwing half of the game in the morning, Mortensen entered the contest in the top of the fourth inning against a Wolf Pack lineup that was beginning to find its stride and promptly shut down the oncoming threat.

In the fourth, Mortensen worked around a pair of infield singles to keep the Wolf Pack at bay while in both the fifth and seventh she pitched around a two out double. Mortensen's only blemish of the night came in the sixth when NC State's Bethany Wells hit the Wolf Pack's second solo home run of the day.

Offensively, the Tigers jumped out front in the first inning with four runs on three hits as Pacific took advantage of a pair of walks and an error to get their first run of the night. With the bases loaded and one run across, sophomore Alex Steinmehl delivered the big hit of the night as the catcher laced a two-RBI double to right center. Following closely, freshman Nicole Zapotoczny plated what would prove to be the game-winning run with a single deep in the hole at short to put Pacific up 4-0 at the time.

Five innings later and with their lead cut to just one, it was Steinmehl again bolstering Pacific's attack as she roped her second double of the night to leadoff the inning. Pacific would put a pair of runners in scoring position with a walk and a bunt, setting up a situation that the Wolf Pack would fold under. Finally catching a break after a long two weeks, the Tigers posted their final two insurance runs of the contest on a double error by the Wolf Pack's pitcher, Emily Weiman, as Pacific went up 6-3 in support of Mortensen.

Weiman (10-10) suffered the loss for the Wolf Pack as the starter went all six for NC State while giving up seven hits, three walks, and six runs only three of which were earned. Pacific's starter, senior Nikki Armagost, picked up the no decision after exiting the contest after three innings having given up three hits and two runs while striking out three and walking two.

At the plate, Armagost picked up her 200th career hit in the first inning of play as the senior became just the 10th Tiger in program history to reach the mark. She joined senior Megan Hom in the 200-hit club as the duo became just the third set of teammates in Pacific history to hold 200 hits at the same time. 

Pacific is back in action on Saturday, Mar. 16 at 10:00 am as the Tigers take on No. 2 Arizona State to kick off day two of the Judi Garman Tournament.