LOS ANGELES – Sophomore Chris Hipa’s home run and three RBI lifted the Roadrunner softball team to a 6-3 victory over Hartford to open the CSUN/LMU Tournament Friday afternoon.

After the game, Head Coach Crissy Buck-Ziegler talked about her team’s performance: “It was a great team win for us. Nadia and Chris both had great individual productivity, but the focus is really on how we played as a team.”

The Hawks jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Madison Hilimire led the frame off with a double and was eventually driven in by Bianca Ross’ single to right field. The ‘Runners answered right back with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the second. Starting catcher Jo Larios earned a one-out walk and came around on Hipa's first home run of the season to take a 2-1 lead.

CSUB extended its lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the third. Shortstop Nadia Amezcua led off the frame with a double to the right center gap and eventually scored on a grounder by Nicole Curry.

After a fielding error helped the Hawks keep the top of the fifth going, Hartford’s Lexi Wilkerson punished the ‘Runners with a homer. The blast scored two unearned runs and tied the score up at three runs apiece.

With the daylight fading, Amezcua led off the bottom of the fifth with a single and advanced all the way to third on Maddi Clark’s sacrifice bunt. The ‘Runners went on to load the bases and Jo Larios drove in a run with a single to left before Hipa walked in a run to put CSUB ahead 5-3. A fielder’s choice failed to get an out as CSUB added another run to make it a 6-3 advantage. The game was called on account of darkness at the end of the fifth as Bakersfield earned it’s third win of the season.

Junior pitcher Summer Evans improved to 3-4 on the year after pitching five complete innings. The transfer from Palomar College scattered six hits and allowed three runs, two earned to the Hawks. Hipa led the ‘Runner offense, going two-for-two with three RBI in the game. Amezuca added a pair of hits for CSUB while Curry, Larios, and Josie Flores had the other RBI for CSUB.

CSU Bakersfield (3-10) will return to LMU’s field in Los Angeles for a doubleheader on Saturday. The ‘Runners will open the day with a game against Bryant before wrapping up versus No. 6 Arizona in the afternoon.

~GoRunners.com~