Softball falls in GSAC championships to claim second-place

Eagles fell to Concordia in GSAC championship.

Junior+right-handed+pitcher+Reba+DePriest+winds+up+for+the+pitch+during+the+game+against+San+Diego+Christian+College+on+Tuesday.+With+a+win+against+San+Diego+Christian%2C+they+look+hopeful+as+post-season+play+approaches.+%7C+Olivia+Blinn%2FTHE+CHIMES

OLIVIA BLINN

Junior right-handed pitcher Reba DePriest winds up for the pitch during the game against San Diego Christian College on Tuesday. With a win against San Diego Christian, they look hopeful as post-season play approaches. | Olivia Blinn/THE CHIMES

Laurie Bullock, Writer

Junior right-handed pitcher Reba DePriest winds up for the pitch during the game against San Diego Christian College on Tuesday. The Eagles received runner-up after losing to Concordia University in the GSAC championship. | Olivia Blinn/THE CHIMES

 

After a hard-fought and emotional semifinal game victory against San Diego Christian University the softball team fell 5-0 to No. 1 Concordia University in the Golden State Athletic Conference championship game. The Eagles finish the regular season second in the GSAC conference with an overall record of 34-12.

Biola has made a significant turnaround from two years ago. In the 2011-2012 season, the Eagles were only able to win 15 of their games, and only one of those came from conference play. The Eagles made process the following year, but still fell short of the championship game.

This season the Eagles started out with a bang. They immediately showed their dominance as a team and won seven games straight. Out of the entire season, 32 individual games were won by keeping their opponent to two runs or less.

“Coming from the last two years the program has been building and we’ve had really high goals for this season and being able to see those goals being accomplished was really cool,” junior second baseman Ashley Spadt said. “I think we’ve worked really hard to get where we are and it proves that our hard work is paying off.”

Biola battled against San Diego’s tough defense in the semifinals game. Despite being able to make contact with the ball multiple times, the Hawks’ outfield was able to put a stop to any potential plays for Biola.

In the ninth inning junior outfielder Brooke Madrid capitalized on San Diego’s right field playing in and sent the ball straight down the line to bring sophomore third baseman Heather Hall home and send Biola to the championship round.

“Once we made it into the final game we were able to take a breath and say ‘Okay, we’ve got this,’” said freshman outfielder Kasey Hormel. “We knew we would keep our standings in nationals and stay number two in GSAC even if we lost to Concordia.”

Biola once again found themselves face to face with Concordia. Four out of the Eagles’ seven conference game losses had come from Concordia. The Eagles fought hard against the number one team in the NAIA, but in the end fell 5-0 to claim a second-place conference title.

“We hope to see them again at Nationals — and not in a four games in two days situation,” said head coach Lorie Coleman. “It would be great to face them with a fresh team.”

The Eagles fell one game short of their goal of winning 35 games. If they had made their goal Biola would have had a sure spot in the NAIA national championship tournament. Despite the loss, Biola still has hope of making the tournament due to their ranking as No. 12 in the NAIA.

“There is a lot of anticipation and lot of excitement,” said Spadt. “I think most of the team is pretty confident that we will be playing another game and that our season isn’t over. I really believe that that is the next step for us and having that confidence and knowing that it isn’t over really helps keep us motivated.”

The Eagles will not know the fate of their season until May 6 when all of the other postseason play is over. For now, all they can do is get some well deserved rest and continue preparation for the tournament in hopes of achieving their season-long goal. 

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