Trioli, Amezquita homer to lift Eagles over Vanguard in GSAC quarters

Game 1 of the Softball GSAC 2015 Tournament.



Sophomore right-handed pitcher Kimmy Triolo prepares a pitch against Concordia University on April 21. The Biola softball team finished Game 1 of the Softball GSAC 2015 Tournament. . | Melissa Osswald/THE CHIMES [file photo]

Tyler Gunhus, Writer

Down 2-1 in the fifth and struggling to score runs, Biola softball desperately needed to get something going offensively in the Golden State Athletic Conference quarterfinals against Vanguard University.

Freshman Anji Amezquita and sophomore Kimmy Triolo answered that call.

Trioli led off the fifth with a solo blast to center, carrying well past the outfield wall and tying the game at 2-2. The home run, Triolo’s first of the year, came in her first at bat of the day after taking over in the third inning for senior outfielder Brooke Madrid.

“Right when it came off my bat, I knew where it was heading,” Triolo said. “It felt good.”

An inning later, Amezquita got her chance to shine as well. With two outs and a runner at third, the freshman lined a 2-1 pitch over the wall in left to snag a two-run lead.

“I saw the ball in slow motion, and I just knew through the whole swing,” Amezquita said. “It was all God. I was so at peace.”

Senior Reba DePriest finished off the top of the order for the Lions in the seventh with a quick one-two-three inning to seal the 4-2 victory of the Eagles. DePriest picked up her 22 win on the season and struck out six on the day, raising her season total.

The two runs Vanguard brought home came in a long third inning after the Lions loaded the bases and a ball in the dirt got past junior catcher Bria Madrid. Madrid’s toss from the backstop to DePriest covering at home ricocheted off the Vanguard hitter, Breanne Gomez, ultimately scoring two. Both were unearned runs not charged against DePriest.

The win has huge implications for the Eagles, as they remain in the winner’s bracket section of the double-elimination tournament and move on to the semi-finals.

“We knew that if we didn’t beat Vanguard our rankings would drop and we’d be in the loser’s bracket,” Triolo said. “We just went into it thinking win or nothing.”

The Eagles have a short break before taking on Concordia University Irvine later this evening in Friday’s final game. The winner will move on to the GSAC finals, with the loser facing a playoff game to reach the finals.

No. 1 seed Concordia, the third-ranked team in the nation, narrowly escaped an upset Thursday night at the hands of No. 5 seed William Jessup University. Trailing 5-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Irvine Eagles rallied for three runs, winning on a two out, walk-off double.

Despite a 1-3 regular season record against the high octane offense and solid pitching of Concordia, Biola appears to be charged up for the one versus two match-up.

“This is what we wanted… a shot at [Concordia]” Amezquita said. “We’re not scared. We’re ready.”

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