The Tigers dropped both games against No. 26 George Fox University (Oregon) 6-1 and 7-5 at home last weekend. On Tuesday, March 24, they split their doubleheader with Our Lady of the Lake University winning the first game 1-0 and falling in the second one 5-2.
Sunday March 22, The Tigers lost the first game of their doubleheader with George Fox after a six-run second inning from the Bruins.
George Fox brought in their first two runners with a two RBI double to left center field. Then a third run scored on a wild pitch from sophomore pitcher Katie Glomb. Another run scored after a muffed throw from the catcher, senior Caitlynn Dykes. A fly ball to center drove in two more runs for George Fox.
“In that second inning, I struggled more with the umpire’s tight strike zone,” Glomb said. “Since he wasn’t calling much off the plate, I came more over the plate, where their hitters became successful.”
At that point there was a pitching change and junior Kaci Wellik replaced Glomb. Wellik gave up only two hits and a walk over six shutout innings.
The Tigers finally got on the board in the bottom of the third inning. Wellik hit a pop up that fell just over the second baseman’s head to drive in sophomore second baseman Hilary Hoffman for the only run for the Tigers.
“We were putting the ball in play, but we just weren’t stringing hits together,” said senior right fielder Brittany Haby. “You have to be consistent on offense, and we weren’t taking opportunities to score.”
In the second game, George Fox jumped out quickly scoring three runs in the first inning off of back-to-back doubles to left center field, and they added another run in the third inning.
“We just regrouped and focused on working our way back one run at a time,” said head coach Brandi Crnkovic. “I was very proud of the way the girls fought back, that’s something they haven’t done yet this year.”
The Tigers got on the board in the bottom of the inning after a base hit by senior first baseman Lauren Mercado was mishandled by the shortstop and dribbled into left field.
The Tigers exploded in the bottom of the fourth inning to take the 5-4 lead.
“They gave us a lot of free bases that inning, and we capitalized on those mistakes,” Glomb said. “We moved runner and gained a lot of energy having multiple base runners being in scoring position.”
With two outs already in the inning, first-year third baseman Sabrina Nieto got an infield hit that fell just over the pitcher’s head. Then first-year left fielder Sara McCarty and junior center fielder Emily Fleischman were walked to load the bases for the Tigers. One runner scored on a wild pitch and Hoffman was walked to reload the bases for Mercado.
She singled up the middle to score two runs. Haby then hit an infield grounder to shortstop, and advanced to second on a throwing error. That sequence of events led another Tiger run to score.
The Tigers played with stout defense until the top of the seventh inning. George Fox opened the inning with a triple to right, and the run was brought home by a base hit to shortstop. A few batters later, a two-run home run extended the lead to 7-5.
The Tigers were unable to respond with a rally of their own in the bottom of the inning.
They struggled to create offense in the game getting only five hits, but were helped by three George Fox errors and seven walks.
“It definitely made an impact for us,” Crnkovic said. “I was glad we were able to take advantage of their mistakes.”
They opened their doubleheader against Our Lady of the Lake with a one point victory in the final innings of play.
The lone run for the Tigers came in the bottom of the sixth inning after an RBI single down the left field line for Haby brought Fleischman home.
Our Lady of the Lake had a chance to tie the game in the top of the seventh inning with a leadoff triple to left field, but the Tigers retired the next three batters to seal the victory.
In the second game, the Tigers jumped out quickly grabbing the 2-0 lead after the first inning.
Haby doubled to left center to bring in Hoffman, and Glomb singled to center to bring home Haby in the inning. These would prove to be their only two runs of the game though.
Our Lady of the Lake responded quickly with two runs of their own in the bottom of the second inning.
They added the go-ahead run in the third inning and two more in the fifth to seal the win.
Next weekend, they open conference play with back-to-back doubleheaders against Texas Lutheran University. They begin play at 5 p.m. Friday, March 27 with the second game at 7 p.m. At 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, March 28, they will finish their weekend against TLU.