Womens Softball

Vanguard 6, Menlo 2

Date of competition: Friday, March 10, 2017

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It has been an interesting year for Menlo College Softball so far. A very strong start to the season seemed to indicate that good things were on the horizon, but conference play within the Golden State Athletic Conference has not been so strong yet. The Oaks traveled to Costa Mesa to take on the Lions of Vanguard University, hoping to avenge the three losses they took in conference play the previous weekend. Unfortunately for the visiting Oaks, their offense stalled yet again, scoring a total of two runs over fourteen innings and dropped a pair of games 7-0 and 6-2. Menlo is now 15-12 (2-6) on the year while Vanguard continues to lead the conference at 19-4 (6-1).

Game 1
Game one would mark the third time in the past four games that the Oaks have been shutout, an impossible thought given the way the offense had been mashing going in to last weekend. The Oaks managed to get just one hit on the board in all of game one, a triple from Lauren Harrison in the second inning. That would it for the Oaks against Vanessa Dwyer, who wound up going the distance, allowing just the lone hit, two walks, and striking out two. The Lions defense made three errors in game one, so Menlo was able to get a few chances, but could not scratch across any runs. Harrison tripled with one out in the second, but after a pop out and a fly out by the two Brookes in the Menlo lineup, Harrison would not score. Menlo only had one other legitimate chance to get runs on the board, and that came in the sixth inning. Cassie Grana reached base on an error, and Morgan Zimmerman pinch ran for her. Bryce Etzler followed with a walk, so Menlo had two runners aboard with nobody out. Teddi Diedrich grounded out, but moved both runners up sixty feet. With two in scoring position and one out, Sarah Reyes flied out to center, and Zimmerman got caught in a rundown trying to score, eventually getting tagged out back towards third.

At that point in the game, Menlo was already down 4-0, with their starter, Victoria Cervantes, out of the game. Cervantes was matching Dwyer for the first three innings of the game, allowing just a hit batter and two walks during the first three innings of play. The fourth inning is when things began to unravel for the freshman right hander. With one out in the inning, Cervantes allowed a whopping six consecutive singles, with three of them driving in runs to make it 3-0 Lions. Cervantes would exit the game following the inning, with all of the damage done solely in that inning.

Jordan Kennedy replaced her on the mound and allowed a single run in the fifth, and three more runs in the bottom of the sixth, ensuring that the Lions had enough run support so Dwyer could pitch a clean seventh and secure the victory.

Game 2
Menlo was nearly shutout again in game two of the doubleheader, scoring twice on the final batter of the game before recording the final out. Sarah Reyes was on the mound for Menlo, and she was hit hard like Cervantes in game one, but the damage was a bit more spread out. The lone run allowed early came in the bottom of the second and it all came with two outs. Reyes hit a batter with two down, and after a steal of second, was driven home on an RBI double. She was then fine until the bottom of the fourth inning, when she would be pulled from the game with just one out. The first three hitters of the inning reach base, with one walk and two singles being the result, to load the bases. After inducing a shallow fly out, back-to-back bases loaded walks were succumbed by Reyes, scoring a pair of runs to make it 3-0 Lions. Victoria Cervantes was summoned from the Menlo bullpen to stop the bleeding, but she allowed a a single and a two-run double to allow three more runs and double the Lions lead to 6-0.

The Oaks offense was able to get more pressure on the base paths in game two, but once again were not able to turn that into runs. The only runs of the game came in the top of the seventh, with Menlo needing one massive comeback to salvage a split. Ariana Belarde led off with a single, and with one out in the inning, Cassie Grana was hit by a pitch. Kris McIntyre pinch hit with a single to load the bases. With two outs, Morgan Zimmerman delivered a single to left field to score a pair of runs, but in an interesting twist, McIntyre was thrown out after taking too big of a turn around second base. The base running mistake ended the ballgame, but not before Menlo got the two runs on the board, ending a 6-2 defeat.

Menlo stay in Southern California for the remainder of the weekend and takes on Biola in La Mirada on Saturday, with a doubleheader scheduled to start at noon.

--Menlo Athletics

posted by Rick on Mar 11, 2017 at 12:06 am

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