OREM, Utah – An appeal at third base, on a sacrifice fly that would have tied the score in the bottom of the seventh, was granted for the Roadrunner softball team and instead ended the game in a CSU Bakersfield victory. The dramatic finish gave the ‘Runners their first Western Athletic Conference victory of the season and a split in Friday’s doubleheader at Utah Valley.
“It was great for Lyndsay to get the win today,” said Crissy Buck-Ziegler, Head Coach of the ‘Runners. “We had some big games by Kaylynn, Jo, and Chris. They kept going after it and that was nice to see.”
The ‘Runners broke through to take a 1-0 lead over the Wolverines in the top of the second inning. Juniors Julea Cavazos and Nicole Curry led off with a single and a hit by pitch, respectively. After senior Jo Larios moved her teammates up 60 feet with a sacrifice bunt, sophomore Chris Hipa’s sacrifice fly plated Cavazos for the first run of the game. Junior Megan Marcy nearly drove in a second run, but she was robbed of an RBI base hit by a diving UVU outfielder.
The Wolverines earned a scoring opportunity in the bottom of the third with bases loaded and no outs. A grounder resulted in a force out at home for the first out before Brittany Vansway’s RBI single drove in another run. UVU would have plated a second run on the play, but Kaylynn Burt’s third outfield assist of the season kept the score at 1-1. CSUB starter Summer Evans and the ‘Runner defense then induced a grounder to end the UVU threat.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Wolverines loaded the bases with one out and a chance to plate the go-ahead run. Kirsten Anderson came to bat and hit a two-RBI single down the left field line. With two outs, the bases were loaded again, this time for for Vansway, who was 3-for-3 at that point in the game. The third baseman doubled off the left center wall to put Utah Valley ahead 6-1.
With a pair of ‘Runners in scoring position in the top of the seventh, Burt singled to shortstop, scoring Hipa and cutting the CSUB deficit to four runs. The ‘Runner rally would end there as a pair of CSUB pinch hitters were unable to keep the inning alive. UVU’s Lauren Frailey earned the complete-game victory while Vansway went 4-for-4 with four RBI in the game.
Evans took the loss for CSUB, falling to 5-10 on the season after giving up five earned runs in her ninth complete game of the year. Cavazos went 2-for-3 in the game and leads CSUB with nine multi-hit games this season. Burt and Hipa had CSUB’s two RBI while the latter tied her career high with five assists at third base.
The Wolverines went ahead early on with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning. Caragh Morris sent a double to the left center gap, plating Courtney Beavers for a 1-0 lead. After getting Vansway out for the first time on the day, CSUB’s starter, Lyndsay Klimenko, gave up a sacrifice fly as UVU took a 2-0 advantage.
In the top of the third, Hipa’s second RBI of the day came on a sacrifice fly that plated Marcy, who walked earlier in the frame. CSUB had an opportunity to tie the game with a ‘Runner in scoring position, but a two-out foul out stopped the threat.
Utah Valley went on to extend its lead to 5-1 in the bottom of the fourth. Taleigh Williams had an RBI single before a pair of Wolverines drew bases-loaded walks to cap the three-run inning.
The ‘Runners answered right back with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth. Hipa’s single put Karah Wiseman on third and the freshman wound up scoring on a wild pitch. Curry eventually singled home Hipa to make the score 5-3.
In the top of the fifth, CSUB put two ‘Runners in scoring position with no outs thanks to a single by Burt and a double by Cavazos. Larios reached on a fielder’s choice as Burt beat the throw home. On the play, the ball got away from UVU’s catcher and Cavazos’ watchful eyes helped the junior come home as well, tying the score at 5-5.
After a 4-for-4 first game, Vansway went 0-for-3 in the second game until the bottom of the seventh. The UVU third baseman led the frame off with a triple to put the Wolverines in a solid position to tie the score. A pop up would result in the first out for CSUB before a deep fly ball allowed UVU to score the equalizer. In dramatic fashion, the ‘Runners appealed to third base and the runner was called out for leaving the bag early, erasing the sixth UVU run and preserving the victory for CSUB.
Klimenko earned her first victory of the season in the senior’s fifth complete game. The native of Half Moon Bay, Calif. gave up five earned runs on six hits and four walks but held on for the win. Bailey Moore came in to pitch the final 2.2 innings for UVU and took the loss.
Cavazos had three hits on the day and drove in the game-winning run in the top of the seventh. Larios went 3-for-4 in the game with an RBI while Hipa was a perfect 3-for-3 with an RBI herself. Burt added a pair of singles as the ‘Runners combined for 10 hits in the game, their best since recording 12 against Fresno State.
The Roadrunners (6-24, 1-4 WAC) and Wolverines (9-16, 1-4 WAC) are scheduled to wrap up the series with a final game on Saturday. Due to impending rain, the final game's start time has been moved up to 12 p.m. (PT). Stay tuned to the CSUB Athletics twitter page for up-to-the-minute information on the status of the game.