LAS VEGAS, Nev. – CSU Bakersfield’s softball team closed out the Sporto Kick Off Classic with two final games on Sunday. The Roadrunners earned their first win of the season against host UNLV thanks to solid offense and Summer Evans’ pitching gem. CSUB then fell against Virginia Tech, a team that received votes in the first Top 25 poll of the season, to close the tournament.
The ‘Runners had lead-off hits against UNLV in each of the first three innings (Julea Cavazos, Megan Marcy, Kaylynn Burt). Despite the success early in each frame, the ‘Runners were unable to plate any runs. The good news came in the bottom half of those innings as Evans, the starting pitcher, and the CSUB defense were able to hold UNLV scoreless as well. The junior righty and the ‘Runners retired 11 straight Rebels from the first inning to the fourth.
In the top of the fourth, the ‘Runners loaded the bases with two outs after Megan Marcy walked and Jo Larios and Josie Flores both singled. In an 0-2 hole, Kaylynn Burt took a pitch to the hip and walked in her first RBI of the season. Cavazos squeezed a single down the third base line to bring two ‘Runners around and extend the CSUB lead to 3-0. With the bases loaded again, an inning-ending ground ball was dropped by the UNLV first baseman, allowing two more ‘Runners to score as CSUB took a 5-0 lead.
Evans’ retired batters streak was snapped in the bottom of the fifth when the Rebels loaded the bases with three straight singles. Bakersfield’s pitcher dove to catch a short pop up and doubled off the runner at third to help the ‘Runners get out of trouble and hold on to their 5-0 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Rebels attempted a late comeback, putting two runners on base with one out. Evans was unfazed and proceeded to get the final two batters of the game out to give the ‘Runners their first win of the season.
Evans pitched her first complete game as ‘Runner on Sunday, giving up just one run, which was unearned. The native of Escondido, Calif. scattered five hits while walking no Rebels. Cavazos continued hitting well, going 2-for-4 in the game with a pair of RBI while Burt contributed CSUB’s other RBI.
Virginia Tech jumped up to an early, 3-0 lead after a hot first inning. Senior Lyndsay Klimenko got roughed up by the first three batters of the game as a pair of doubles and a home run gave the Hokies their three runs. Klimenko settled down over the next two innings, but VT had scored four runs headed into the fourth.
In the meantime, CSUB answered back with one run in the second and fourth innings. In the second, juniors Maddi Clark and Curry both singled and the ‘Runners wound up with their first run of the game thanks to Flores’ RBI single. In the fourth inning, Clark doubled to lead off the inning and eventually scored on a wild pitch to make the score 4-2.
The Hokies added a pair of run in the bottom of the fourth to extend their lead to 6-2. Both teams remained scoreless over the next two innings as the ‘Runners went into the top of the seventh down to their final three outs.
Larios led off the inning and reached on an error. With two outs, Cavazos singled to put two ‘Runners on base, but the CSUB rally would end there and Bakersfield fell by a score of 6-2.
Klimenko (0-3) took the loss after pitching three complete innings and giving up all six of the VT runs. Sophomore Alley Stockton pitched two innings in relief, allowing just two hits and two walks. Fellow sophomore Chris Hipa made her ‘Runner debut in the circle, pitching the final inning while allowing one hit and a walk to the Hokies.
Next week, the ‘Runners will head to Long Beach, Calif. for a pair of doubleheaders. CSUB (1-4) will face off against Utah and Long Beach State for four games over two days on Friday and Saturday.