COSTA MESA, Calif. — The Vanguard Lions (46-14) finished off a successful season by winning the GSAC tournament which gave them a place in the NAIA Opening Round. The Lions' are the number two seed and host the tournament as four teams fight for a place in the NAIA World Series. The Lions started off the Opening Round in a game against Oregon Tech (35-15). It was a defensive battle between the two teams as each were able to keep runners from scoring and pushed the game into extra innings. After ten innings of play, Oregon Tech came out victorious with a final score of 2-1. victorious with a final score of 2-1.
The biggest influence on the game was each team's stellar defense. Vanessa Dwyer was on the mound for the Lions and kept the Owls of their toes. After 9.2 innings, Dwyer gave up 8 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, and 3 strikeouts. Dwyer had a strong presence behind her. In the infield, Summer Penner and Kaitlin Estes were instrumental in getting the Lions out of some close calls with smart fielding choices that left Owls stranded on base. The outfield held their own as well. Taylor Wilson made a number of great catches, including a robbed foul ball that tried to go into the bullpen.While the defense held strong, the Lions had trouble at the plate. Despite nine hits, the Lions were only able to post one run in the top of the second off of a triple by Kim Estes. Payton Ross and Kaitlin Estes had the most successful batting record for the day, each going 2-5. The Opening Round follows a double elimination bracket, so the Lions will face off next against the number four seed, Avila.
Next Game: Tuesday, May 16th against #4 Avila at 1:45 p.m.