COSTA MESA, Calif. – Taking the field in the final game of the first day at the 2017 GSAC Tournament, the Lions (43-12) felt right at home on their regular field. The familiarity was evident as they captured a 4-0 victory over Hope International (29-16) who was playing their second game of the day. HIU kicked off the day at 9:30 am by defeating Menlo. Vanguard, the top seed in the tournament, is one of two unbeaten teams left (William Jessup is the other).
The first frames of the contest kept the fans anxiously waiting as it wasn't until the fifth inning that a score was pushed across home plate. Vanguard broke the 0-0 tie in their fifth trip to the plate. In the previous four innings, the Blue and Gold had stranded six runners which meant they were due for a score. Taylor Wilson (SR/Modesto, CA) kicked off the inning by drawing a walk before being moved over to second base on Summer Penner (SR/Anaheim, CA)'s sacrifice bunt. The next batter, Payton Ross (JR/Hughson, CA), was hit by the pitch before a Kaitlin Estes (JR/Costa Mesa, CA) single juiced the bases for the Pride. Sam Shaffer was hit by a pitch as well to record an RBI and allow Wilson to score. This forced HIU to change pitchers. However with only one out punched at that time, consecutive batters would be recorded out to end the inning with the bases loaded.
They were not done. Facing a newly minted pitcher, the Lions got right back to where they left off. Kim Estes fired off a left field double to begin the frame. Arian Huffman pinch ran in her spot and was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt from Cassie Balswick (FR/Turlock, CA). Taylor Wilson reach on a fielding error, scoring the first of three runs in the inning. Two more runs scored on a Kaitlin Estes swing of the bat. Those would mark the final runs of the game as the Pride took advantage of three hits and two errors to score a trio of runs but still leave two on the base paths.
Vanessa Dwyer (FR/Temple City, CA), the All-GSAC selection, threw another complete game as she allowed only four hits in 26 batters faced. This win moves her to 17-6 on the year. Ross led the way in the batter's box going 2-2 with a scored run; Kim Estes was 2-3 on the day as only two Lions recorded multiple hits on the day. Kaitlin Estes, Morgan Pilbin (SO/Fallbrook, CA), and Sam Shaffer each had single hits as the team combined for 7.
Next Game: Tomorrow, May 3rd at 1:45 p.m. against William Jessup University.