LUBBOCK, Texas (April 17, 2009) - It was a battle between two powerhouse NAIA softball programs at PlainsCapital Park and the expectations were for a pair of low scoring games.
No. 5 St. Gregory's University had allowed more than three runs in a game only once this season and had not allowed more than five runs in a game, but that all changed Friday afternoon, as No.3 Lubbock Christian University swept the Lady Cavaliers with an 8-0 and 11-1 victory. Both games ended in the fifth inning under the mercy rule and the Lady Chaps leapfrogged both Oklahoma City University and St. Gregory's to move atop the Sooner Athletic Conference standings.
St. Gregory's ace Sharon Bell had not allowed more than three runs in an outing this season and had held the Lady Chaps scoreless in 11 prior innings pitched entering the twin bill, but it was Alyssa Gutierrez stealing the spotlight in the circle for LCU. Gutierrez improved to 22-2 earning wins in both games, opening the series with a five-inning complete game one-hit shutout. In the second game, she pitched four innings and allowed one run on three hits. She combined for nine strikeouts in the nine innings pitched. Bell made her only appearance of the day in the first game and fell to 20-5 on the season after allowing eight runs on 11 hits in just four innings pitched.
In the opener, the Lady Chaps benefited off a six-run fourth inning that was capped with a two-run home run by Amanda Parsons. She ended up with a three-RBI game after singling in a run in the third inning. Kelly Griego also ended up with three runs-batted-in in the game. She hit a single to score Raquel Hawkins in the first inning and hit a two-run double in the offensive filled fourth inning. Ginalee Davis accounted for the other two runs with a double to score Jade Espinoza and Sabrina Hernandez.
In the second game, the Lady Chaps hit a trio of home runs and had a five-run second inning and a six-run fourth inning to cruise 11-1. They out-hit the Lady Cavs 10-4 in the game with Sarah Bradley allowing all 11 runs in the circle to drop to 11-4 on the season.
After Parsons scored on a single by Gutierrez in the second inning for a 1-0 lead, LCU received two-run homers each by Hernandez and Honda Rodriguez. In the fourth inning, Loren Phelps hit a pinch hit home run to start the scoring. It was the start of a cycle in the inning as a team, as Davis tripled to right field for an addition two runs and Griego drove in a run with a double. Parsons closed the scoring for LCU with a single to score Cynthia Hernandez. The Lady Cavs scored their lone run of the doubleheader in the third inning with Courtney Reynaga singling in Wendy Acosta.
The Lady Chaps improved to 16-4 (.800) in conference play (43-4 overall) and SGU dropped to 19-5 (.792) in the SAC (33-10 overall).
LCU continues their SAC weekend homestand Saturday hosting Mid-America Christian at PlainsCapital Park with a noon start to the doubleheader.