SEATTLE, Wash. – After a hot start in Seattle, the Roadrunner softball team could not mount a comeback to close out the regular season with a Western Athletic Conference series sweep. CSU Bakersfield jumped out to an early lead over Seattle U, but the Redhawks scored four runs in the third inning en route to an 8-2 victory.
Despite missing out on the sweep, CSUB did win the WAC series and Head Coach Crissy Buck-Ziegler was pleased with her team's performance: “We are hitting the ball and we are peaking at the right time. There are things we have to shore up this next week, but I like how the team plays together.”
Twice in as many days, junior Kaylynn Burt got the ‘Runners started with a home run to lead off the game. After the first inning, CSUB recorded at least one hit in each of the next four innings, but the ‘Runners were unable to capitalize on their opportunities. CSUB ended up stranding 11 ‘Runners on base in the contest.
In the bottom of the third, Seattle rode five hits to four runs, taking a 4-1 lead over CSUB. Back-to-back home runs from Madison Cathcart and Savannah Loomis spurred the offensive output. The Redhawks added a pair of runs in both the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings.
In the top of the sixth, Burt singled and stole second base, recording her 16th steal of the season. The total reset the CSUB Division I single-season steals record, set by Alex Simmons in 2016. Selena Gonzalez's RBI single plated Burt, but when the inning was complete, the ‘Runners trailed 8-2.
Junior Julea Cavazos reached base with a one-out walk in the top of the seventh, but an inning-ending double play would end any thoughts of a CSUB comeback in Seattle. After pitching 2.2 innings and allowing four runs to the Redhawks, senior Lyndsay Klimenko took the loss as the ‘Runners fell to 11-31 (4-11 WAC) on the year. Junior Summer Evans pitched the final 3.1 innings in relief and also allowed four runs.
After a 2-for-3 effort on Saturday, Nicole Curry led the ‘Runners on the weekend with a .556 batting average (5-for-9). The junior first baseman added two walks and three RBI while slugging 1.000 percent in Seattle. Burt, Gonzalez, and sophomore Chris Hipa each added a pair of hits for the ‘Runners in the series finale as CSUB tallied 10 hits.
With the 2017 regular season complete, the Roadrunners will take the next week to prepare for the WAC Tournament. This year's championship is set for May 11-13 in Las Cruces, N.M. The ‘Runners will be the fifth seed and will face No. 4 UMKC in the first game of the double-elimination tournament.