Photo Illustration by Chak Hee Lo
The softball team made a resounding opening statement in their first ever PacWest home series, sweeping the Dominican University Penguins in a March 8 doubleheader at Freedom Field. The Eagles never trailed in either game, outscoring the Penguins 16-1. Junior outfielder Areana Ramos led the way with four hits and eight RBI on the day.
“Everything just seemed to be in sequence and on time [for Ramos] today,” said head coach Lorie Coleman.
GRAND SLAM POWERS ROUT
Senior starting pitcher Terri Van Dagens remained acelike in game one, as her five scoreless innings dropped her season ERA to an incredible 0.86. The Eagles got on the board in the second when Ramos scored on an RBI single from sophomore catcher Kayla Neff. Later in the inning, senior shortstop Andi Hormel doubled home junior first baseman Missy Poti. The 2-0 score remained until the bottom of the fifth, when the Eagles loaded the bases with one out. Freshman outfielder Noel Balderston scored on an error, then after a strikeout Ramos launched a mammoth grand slam into left-center field to blow open the game.
“There [were] two outs, so [I was] just trying not to put a lot of pressure on myself,” Ramos said. “Just hitting the ball hard somewhere.”
Dominican loaded the bases off freshman relief pitcher Paige Austin in the seventh, but only managed to score one run as the Eagles cruised to a 7-1 beatdown.
BATS BACK UP DAMAS
The Eagles also scored first in game two when junior designated hitter Hailey Boyett doubled home freshman outfielder Ruth Munoz in the opening frame. Biola added to its lead in the third, as Ramos stepped in with one runner on and another run already home. This time, she cleared the right field wall to extend the Eagles’ lead to four. They piled on even more in the fourth, scoring on an RBI double from sophomore outfielder Jay Perez, an RBI single from Boyett and a two-run double from Ramos.
“I felt a lot more confident at the plate today,” Ramos said.
Meanwhile, sophomore pitcher Paula Damas had one of her best starts of the season, tossing four scoreless. Junior pitcher Kaile Chavez threw a perfect fifth inning, punctuated by a running catch by Ramos for the last out. The game ended early via the run rule with the Eagles ahead 9-0 after five.
“[Damas] is working the bottom half of the zone really well right now,” Coleman said. “When we can mix in a changeup, it’s really hard to beat her.”
The Eagles are now 8-2 in the PacWest and have matched their 2017 win total with a 21-5 overall record. They will host another intraconference doubleheader against Holy Names University on March 9.