Sunday, February 22, 2009

LBSU Softball Wins Two Behind Ace Pitching

Story by Mike Guardabascio

Behind a pair of strong performances in the circle, the Long Beach State softball team (6-7) bounced back from an 0-2 start at the University of San Diego Tournament to defeat the host Toreros, 1-0, and Boise State, 3-1, on Saturday afternoon.

Against The Toreros

In her first collegiate start, freshman Taylor Petty tossed a one-hit, complete-game shutout against USD. Petty struck out a season-high eight batters as she improved to 2-0 on the season. Junior Ashley Weber led the 49er offense, going 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Classmate Kristen Pocock also doubled, while freshman Megan Denio scored the game-winning run for The Beach.

Long Beach State put runners on base in three of the first four innings but was unable to push a run across until the bottom of the fifth. Denio led off with a pinch-hit infield single and senior Brianna Goad followed with a walk. Senior Danielle Linke then flied out to center field, but it was deep enough to advance a speedy Denio to third base. Weber singled in the 49ers' next at bat to score Denio for what ended up being the game-winner.

Petty retired USD (1-6) in order in all but two innings, allowing just two Toreros to reach base with a hit and a walk.

Against Boise State

In the nightcap, Long Beach State avenged an earlier loss to Boise State as the 49ers topped the Broncos, 3-1. Sophomore Brooke Turner (4-3) threw the second one-hitter of the day, allowing one unearned run while striking out seven.

Senior Danielle Linke led a trio of 49ers who recorded multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI. Senior Jonae Perez was also 2-for-3 with a run scored and classmate Jennifer Griffin connected for two hits and an RBI. Long Beach State jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Perez led off with a single before junior Ashley Levine was hit by a pitch. With one out, senior Brianna Goad moved both runners up a base with a sacrifice bunt, setting up a two-run single by Linke.

The Broncos (3-5) responded in the next half inning as Lexi Straton opened with a bunt single. Straton was able to make her way to third on a sacrifice bunt and a groundball before she came around to score on an error by Griffin. The Beach added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth when junior Ashley Weber started a two-out rally with a single up the middle. Griffin then drove in Weber with a double to left field.

Long Beach State closes out action at the USD Tournament tomorrow when it takes on Colorado State at noon.