Softball drops crucial games at Menlo

A late-season road sweep has the Eagles’ playoff hopes on life support.

Austin Green, Writer

Biola softball’s final Friday of regular season play followed a familiar and disappointing pattern. The Menlo College Oaks shutout the Eagles 8-0 then walked off against Biola in the second game with a 6-5 victory. The doubleheader on April 21 contained eerie similarities to the Eagles’ March 23 shutout loss at the hands of the Simpson University Red Hawks, in which the Eagles blew a commanding lead in the first contest and failed to score a single run in game two.

The Oaks stormed out of the gates in game one when designated hitter Sarah Reyes hit a three-run home run in the first inning off Eagles’ freshman starting pitcher Paula Damas. Damas only lasted two batters into the second during one of her worst starts of the season. Sophomore Kaile Chavez picked up the slack, pitching the rest of the five-inning affair.

The game was shortened in the bottom of the fifth when Menlo scored its eighth run of the game, thereby invoking the “run rule”, a mercy rule that allows umpires to end blowouts early. The Eagles could not get anything going offensively against Oaks’ ace Victoria Cervantes, who only allowed hits to senior second baseman Miranda Galindo, freshman catcher Kayla Neff and sophomore shortstop Andi Hormel.

Junior pitcher Terri Van Dagens started the second game for the Eagles and allowed three runs in four innings of work. In the top of the fifth, Hormel worked a two-out walk then advanced to third when the Oaks committed an error on first baseman Karen Lieng’s bunt. Senior center fielder Kasey Hormel knocked an RBI base hit to bring them both home and make the score 3-2. She wound up at third base after some more sloppy fielding by Menlo, then scored the tying run on a successful squeeze bunt from Galindo. Menlo scored another run in the bottom of the frame to make the score 4-3, but Biola took a 5-4 lead in the top of the sixth on a sacrifice fly from junior left fielder Anjie Amezquita and an RBI single from Lieng.

With few other options, head coach Lorie Coleman left Chavez in, who had taken over for Van Dagens, to finish the game. However, with only two outs between the Eagles and a series-saving win, Chavez walked two straight batters. A fielder’s choice left runners on the corners and Menlo down to its last out, setting the Oaks up for some timely heroics. Natalie Dorsey tied the game with a double and Lauren Harrison hit a walkoff single to hand Menlo the sweep and Chavez the crushing loss.

The losses pushed the Eagles to a 21-20-2 overall record and 8-14 record against the Golden State Athletic Conference. They fell to sixth place in the GSAC standings, one game behind the 9-13 San Diego Christian Hawks for the final spot in the GSAC tournament. They will need to win both games in their doubleheader against William Jessup University on April 22 to even have a shot at catching up with the Hawks.

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