BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – The Roadrunner softball team’s offense came alive on Saturday to the tune of 11 runs over two games against Saint Mary’s. Strong pitching performances by both of CSU Bakersfield’s starters helped the ‘Runners split the doubleheader after an extra-inning loss in the second game of the day.
“We did a lot better job today and competed a lot better,” said Crissy Buck-Ziegler, Head Coach of the ‘Runners. “I thought we were a little tentative in the second game. I wish we were a little bit more aggressive.”
Buck-Ziegler also applauded her starting pitchers, Summer Evans and Lyndsay Klimenko: “Lyndsay pitched well enough to earn the win. It was too bad we couldn’t come out on top. Summer had a very good game in the first game. She kept them off balance and did a good job moving the ball.”
A throwing error in the top of the second inning helped the Gaels score an unearned run. Saint Mary’s went on to put runners on the corners with two outs, but catcher Jo Larios caught the runner at first stealing to limit the damage to just one run.
The Gaels loaded the bases in the top of the third inning with one out, but sophomore Nadia Amezcua fielded a ground ball at shortstop, tagged the closest runner, and threw over to first for the inning-ending double play.
In the top of the fourth, Saint Mary’s Cara DiMercurio got jammed on an inside pitch, but the ball carried out for a solo home run. SMC’s 2-0 lead would not last long as the ‘Runners posted a four spot in the bottom half of the fourth to take a 4-2 lead.
The inning got started with back-to-back doubles from Amezcua and Maddi Clark. Nicole Curry’s ground out brought Clark home to tie the score at 2-2. Two more doubles, this time from Larios and Chris Hipa, put a pair of ‘Runners on for CSUB. Leftfielder Josie Flores brought both home with a triple to the left center gap to give the ‘Runners a 4-2 advantage.
The Gaels put up another run in the top of the fifth to cut the ‘Runner lead to just one run. CSUB loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom half of the fifth. Larios hit a bloop single to right field that allowed a pair of runs to score and give CSUB a 6-3 lead.
In the sixth inning, Kaylynn Burt scored on Cydney Curran’s double to put the ‘Runners ahead 7-3 for good. Junior transfer Summer Evans came back out in the top of the seventh to finish off her second complete game of the season. Evans finished the game with three runs (two earned), six hits, one walk, and three strikeouts.
Six 'Runners had hits in the game while Amezcua and Clark led the way with a pair of hits. Clark added an RBI in the game while Larios and Flores had two each. Bakersfield's five doubles in the game is the second-most for CSUB in the schoool's Division I history.
The ‘Runners improved to 2-8 with the win while Evans’ record went to 2-3 on the season.
The ‘Runners got out to an early 1-0 lead thanks to a run in the bottom of the first. A fielding error on the leadoff batter allowed CSUB to get a 'Runner on base. Later in the inning, a second error would bring Burt around to score the first run of the game. After that, the ‘Runners went cold from the plate, scattering six hits over the next seven innings.
Starter Lyndsay Klimenko limited the Gael offense to little success and retired nine of the first ten batters. In the fourth, back-to-back walks to open the inning resulted in a run scored on a sacrifice fly. The senior righty had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning, but it was broken up with a bloop single to left field.
Klimenko and the ‘Runner defense held strong, holding the Gaels to just the one run through seven innings. With the international tiebreaker in effect, the Gaels started the top of the eighth inning with a runner on second base. Saint Mary’s went on to score three runs in the frame to take a 4-1 lead over the ‘Runners.
In the bottom half of the eighth, Curry’s two-out single to right field plated a run, making the score 4-2. Larios followed that up with an infield single to bring Julea Cavazos around. Trailing by one run, the ‘Runners were unable to get the final run they needed and fell to SMC, 4-3.
Klimenko took the tough loss despite pitching a complete eight innings on Saturday. The native of Half Moon Bay, Calif. allowed four runs (three unearned), four hits, and four walks while striking out two batters. On the offensive side, Larios led the way with two more hits and another RBI, tallying three hits and three RBI on the day. Curry had the other RBI for the ‘Runners in Game 2.
CSUB fell to 2-9 on the year with the loss while Klimenko’s record went to 0-4.
The Roadrunners will return to the Roadrunner Softball Complex on Sunday for a final game against Saint Mary’s. After Saturday’s split, both teams will look to take the series-winning game, which is set to begin at noon.