The No. 22 Long Beach State softball team won two games at the Loyola Marymount Tournament.
From Long Beach State Reports
LBSU methodically built up a lead over Fairfield and pulled away late with a five-run fifth inning, winning a second-straight game via the run-rule 9-1 in six innings.
LBSU, playing as the designated visitors at Smith Field on the campus of LMU, struck early in the first inning. Naomi Hernandez singled to start the rally, and after a walk to Lauren MacLeod, Taylor Rowland doubled to score Hernandez and give the Beach a 1-0 lead over Fairfield (6-13)
The trio combined again to add another run in the third, as Hernandez was plunked, and after a single by MacLeod, a sacrifice fly by Rowland scored Hernandez once again.
An opposite field solo home run by Grayce Majam, her first of the season, added one more run in the fourth inning, and then the Beach broke the game open in the fifth.
Nichole Fry and Hernandez started the inning with back-to-back doubles, and then a third straight hit, a single from MacLeod made the score 5-0. A walk to Rowland put two runners on and after an RBI single from Jamie Wren, LT Torres gave the Beach an 8-0 lead with a two-run single.
An early victory was stymied as Fairfield scored a run in the bottom of the fifth, but the delay led to another time through the lineup for MacLeod and Rowland who delivered again. MacLeod drew a two-out walk with two outs, and Rowland hit her second double of the day to bring home the senior catcher.
Devyn Magnett then finished off the bottom half of the inning, striking out Alisha Marshall to pick up the win in her third complete game of the season, tying her career high with four strikeouts.
Taylor Rowland and Nichole Fry each hit two-run home runs to help LBSU rally from a three-run deficit against Colgate on the way to a 9-6 win.
Rowland went 4-for-4 with that home run, a double and had 4 RBI, tying a career-high with four hits and capping an incredible day in Los Angeles for the sophomore.
The offensive showcase helped LBSU recover from some unlucky breaks during the early part of the game.
The Beach took an early lead after a pair of early doubles. Fry and Tierra Falo both doubled to put a pair of runners on in front of Rowland, who singled into right center to score both and give LBSU a 2-0 lead over Colgate (3-18) after one inning.
The Raiders would bounce back however, tying the game after a few 49er mistakes and some fortune. An error from Jamie Wren in left field gave Colgate a runner in scoring position with no outs, and then in a wild play, a bunt would bring that run home. Catcher Justine Briones had to avoid the batter Blake Brackett in front of the batter’s box to collect the ball, and then clipped the side of Brackett with the throw to first, bringing home the run and putting the Colgate batter on second.
A grounder moved Brackett over to third, and finally a safety squeeze brought her home to tie the game at 2-2.
Riding that momentum, Colgate took a three-run lead in the top of the fourth. Meghan Romero doubled to start the inning, and after getting pushed to third, a single by Jordan Miller gave the Raiders the lead. An error by Fry kept the inning going, and Colgate capitalized by adding two more runs to take a 5-2 lead.
Long Beach State didn’t panic, however, and chipped away at the lead. Grayce Majam doubled to start the bottom of the fourth, and after an RBI single from Briones, Fry homered to left field to tie up the game before the end of the inning.
Back-to-back doubles from Rowland and Wren put the Beach back on top 6-5 after the fifth, and then the Beach got important insurance in the sixth. Naomi Hernandez reached on an error, and after an RBI single from Tierra Falo, Rowland capped her day with a fourth hit, a massive home run that put the Beach in front 9-5.
The Raiders added a run in the top of the seventh, but Jessica Flores finished off the game to collect her fifth win of the season, striking out five in a complete game.
Combined with the first game of the day, Rowland finished the day 6-for-6 at the plate with three doubles, a home run, a sacrifice fly and a walk, producing seven RBI while coming away with something positive on every plate appearance on Saturday.
LBSU returns to LMU tomorrow, and will face the host Lions at 3:30 p.m. at Smith Field.