Late-game home run gives softball fifth win

Softball wins again improving their record to 5-0.

Senior+Celina+Thornton+prepares+for+a+bunt+during+the+alumni+game+on+Feb.+1.+Thornton+is+the+catcher+for+Biolas+softball+team.+%7C++Ashleigh+Fox%2FTHE+CHIMES

Senior Celina Thornton prepares for a bunt during the alumni game on Feb. 1. Thornton is the catcher for Biola’s softball team. | Ashleigh Fox/THE CHIMES

Laurie Bullock and Tyler Gunhus

Senior Celina Thornton prepares for a bunt during the alumni game on Feb. 1. Softball won again this week, improving their record to 5-0. | Ashleigh Fox/THE CHIMES

 

Biola softball has had some struggles over the past few years, but if history does repeat itself, their troubles could soon be over.

The Eagles are off to their best start since 2007 continued with a 1-0 win against the College of Idaho Yotes. Biola has a perfect record so far with five wins under their belt.

“We haven’t had a start like this since I’ve been here,” junior shortstop Sarah Stromwall said. “It’s really motivating and inspiring because it seems like our hard work is finally paying off.”

Junior second baseman Ashley Spadt continued her hitting streak against the Yotes, batting 3-3 to put her season batting average at .667. Although Spadt was able to get on base early in the second and fourth innings, the Eagles could not get the hits to bring her home.

After four straight innings without runs on either side, Stromwall hit her first home run in the bottom of the fifth to give the Eagles the lead they needed.

“It was a pretty awesome feeling,” Stromwall said. “It was really great to celebrate that with the team.”

Junior pitcher Reba DePriest relieved senior pitcher Cece Luster in the bottom of the fifth. DePriest shut out the Yotes with the help of her field players and kept Idaho from gaining any sort of momentum.

The Eagles attribute being a close-knit team for their early success this season.

“We all seem to be on the same page that we are going to do this together,” Stromwall said. “It makes it more enjoyable to compete with everyone when we see each other as a family.”

The Eagles are looking to continue their solid start season, and one of the ways they plan to do this is by doing the simple things in each game.

“We want to keep our opponents to two runs or under,” Luster said. “On our side we want to keep the errors to a minimum and make contact up to bat.”

Back in 2007, the Eagles won their first six games of the season to mark the best start in program history. They continued to push through the season and finished with a 32-17 record, advancing to the NAIA regional playoffs.

Despite starting the first day of post-season 1-1, Biola lost to Point Loma Nazarene University to end the Eagles playoff run. There was a lot of confidence leaving the 2007, with high hopes for the upcoming years.

Unfortunately, the years have not been as kind to the Eagles as one may have predicted. Since 2007, Biola has had only two winning seasons, finishing in 2009 and 2011 one game over .500.

However, this year may be the breakout season the Eagles have been waiting for. The combination of senior experience and young talent makes this team a force to be reckoned with.

The ladies will look to match the 2007 opening record of 6-0 when they take on Menlo College on Friday at 1pm at Freedom Field in La Mirada. The Eagles split a two-game series with Menlo last season, losing the first 4-2, but coming back in the ninth to win the second, 7-6.

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