Softball eliminated from playoffs on season’s final day

A five-game losing streak left the Eagles unable to compete for a final GSAC crown.

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Softball eliminated from playoffs on season’s final day

Amelia Mowry/THE CHIMES [file]

Amelia Mowry/THE CHIMES [file]

Amelia Mowry/THE CHIMES [file]

Amelia Mowry/THE CHIMES [file]

Austin Green, Writer

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Biola softball will not get a chance to participate in the Golden State Athletic Conference championship tournament after losing the final five games of their season. It marks only the third time in head coach Lori Coleman’s eight seasons at Biola that her team has been unable to reach the postseason.

a very up-and-down year

Despite a very up-and-down year, the Eagles were in the running to make the tournament entering the final weekend of the regular season with an 8-12 GSAC record and four games remaining against conference foes Menlo College and William Jessup University. Before their doubleheader at Menlo on April 21, the Eagles were tied with San Diego Christian College for the fifth and final seed. They fell a full game behind when they lost both contests to the Oaks by scores of 8-0 and 6-5.

Menlo stormed out of the gates in game one, notching 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. The Eagles could not get anything going offensively against Oaks’ ace Victoria Cervantes, who only allowed three hits.

Junior pitcher Terri Van Dagens started the second game for the Eagles and allowed three runs in four innings of work. Biola finally got on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth, when senior center fielder Kasey Hormel knocked an RBI base hit to bring two runners home. She wound up at third base after more sloppy fielding by Menlo, then scored the tying run on a successful squeeze bunt from senior second baseman Miranda Galindo. Menlo scored in the bottom of the frame, but Biola took a 5-4 lead in the top of the sixth thanks to RBIs from junior left fielder Anjie Amezquita and sophomore first baseman Karen Lieng. With Menlo down to their last out and runners on the corners, however, sophomore Kaile Chavez allowed a game-tying double and walk off single, robbing Biola of a potentially season-saving win.

The Eagles needed at least one win on April 22 to work their way back to at least a tie for the fifth place in the GSAC standings, but again came up short. They were shut out in the first game, as senior Kimmy Triolo gave up seven earned runs in her final career start. The 7-0 loss officially eliminated Biola from the GSAC tournament, as San Diego Christian won the first game of their own doubleheader at the same time. The Eagles’ offense again woke up in game two, scoring in every inning except the fourth. Unfortunately, the offense proved not nearly enough to outdo William Jessup, which teed off on Chavez to the tune of eleven earned runs on thirteen hits in just 4.2 innings.

The Eagles finished their final season of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics with a 21-22-2 overall record and an 8-16 mark in conference play. Coleman and her staff now face a new challenge — preparing for an entirely new level of competition when their team enters play in Division II of the NCAA next spring.