3/29/11 - Long Balls Hurt

Written by Tim Gooszen
Photo by Liza Rosales

Fullerton, CA- Hope International met up with NAIA #1 California Baptist on Tuesday afternoon and if you take away the three homeruns allowed- they played fairly even the Lancers.  But include the home runs and the Royals lost 3-0 and 8-1.  For the Lancers 8 of their 11 runs came via the long ball.  Freshman Liz Gonzalez gave up two of the homers but pitched well against the Lancers especially in game one.

The first batter of the day for the Lancers reached on a line drive knuckleball error to second base.  The Lancers used a fielder’s choice and two singles to cash in the unearned run.

Gonzalez (pictured) ran into trouble with two outs in the third.  She allowed the first homerun on the day followed by a double and single to put the Lancers up 3-0.  After the two runs, Gonzalez would retire the next seven batters she faced.

In the sixth, Gonzalez escaped a single and error with the benefit of a perfectly executed run down and double play started by Gonzalez herself to end the inning.  She then retired CBU in order in the seventh.

Meanwhile, offensively the Royals could not make the most of the few opportunities that they were given.  Freshman Michelle Rivas reached after being hit by a pitch in the second.  Freshman Adi Lopez singled through the right side in the fourth.  Both were left on base.

The best chance for the Royals was in the sixth when Senior Caitlin Angel singled to left field and moved up to second on an error.  Three batters later, Junior Alexis Alonzo walked but runners on the corners was as close as HIU would get.

Though keeping the high powered Lancers to just three runs, Gonzalez suffered the loss.

Game two started with Alonzo retiring the first two batters before having to dance around a bases loaded situation to end the inning.  In the second, the first two base runners reached but Alonzo slammed the door without allowing a run.  She escaped a lead-off walk in the third as well.

But she could not close out the fourth after a lead-off single and then recording two outs.  The next two Lancers reached via walks to load the bases for Kendall Gorham who deposited a grand slam home run over the left field fence.  Gonzalez was called on in relief after the home run.

After having only Lopez reach with a single back up the middle in the first three innings, the Royals came to life in the fourth.

Freshman Lauren Ackerson beat out an infield single to shortstop to open the bottom of the fourth.  Angel singled, Freshman Michelle Rivas reached on a fielder’s choice, and Gonzalez helped herself out with a double just over the bag at third base to score Angel and get the Royals on the board. Lopez singled to load the bases.  However, two strikeouts ended the inning.

But the Lancers (39-1, 4-0 GSAC) plated another run in the fifth before a three run home run in the sixth ended the scoring for the game.

HIU produced runners in the sixth and seventh innings but could not capitalize.

Alonzo took the loss.

The Royals meet up with Biola on Saturday at Craig Park with first pitch set for noon.

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