Saturday, April 7, 2018

East Bay Edged by #7 Dixie State in Non-Conference Doubleheader

Recap, photo courtesy of CAL State East Bay
HAYWARD, Calif. -- The Cal State East Bay softball team fought hard in its doubleheader Wednesday against No. 7 ranked Dixie State, but wound up on the losing end of both games in non-conference action. 

Abby Greer was out-dueled in the first contest by Trailblazer ace Cambrie Hazel, who threw a no-hitter in a 2-1 Dixie win. The Pioneer bats came alive in the second game, but fell short by a final score of 8-5.

Greer was outstanding in tossing her 11th complete game of the season, scattering just three hits and giving up zero earned runs. The only damage against her came in the top of the first inning. After an error and a walk, Jessica Gonzalez ripped a two-out single to give Dixie a 2-0 lead, and as it turned out, all the runs the team would need for victory.

East Bay scored its only run in the third when Belle Placencia was hit by a pitch to lead things off. A

sacrifice bunt and an error advanced her to third, and then Jennifer Palmares knocked her in with a sacrifice fly. 

The Pioneers also threatened in the six when Hazel issued a pair of two-out walks, but she got Sarah Fukushima to pop out to end the threat.

Game two was an entirely different story, but it began with similar success for the Trailblazers in the top of the first. The visitors got three hits against right-hander Bailee Glover and took advantage of an error to plate three runs. 

The Pioneer were able to answer back in the bottom of the frame, as Courtney Leyba went the other way for the team's first hit of the day. Then after a sacrifice bunt, Fukushima beat out an infield hit to drive in the team's first run of the day.

Glover set Dixie down in the second, but they added to their lead with another unearned run in the third, capitalizing on an error and a walk of walks. It appeared that the Trailblazers had all the momentum, but the Pioneers continued to grind out at bats against a Dixie team that has lost just four times all season. 

East Bay cut into its deficit in the bottom of the third, as Palmares was hit by a pitch, advanced on another opposite-field hit by Leyba, and scored on a passed ball to make it 4-2.

The very next inning, singles by Desiree Jimmy and Rachel Tadlock set the table. Then with two outs, Palmares and Leyba came through in the clutch, hitting back-to-back RBI singles.

Unfortunately the 4-4 score didn't last long, as a two-run homer by Kori Gahn in the fifth put Dixe back ahead. They tacked on a run each in the sixth and seventh to seal the victory. 

CSUEB's fifth run came in the sixth inning thanks to the fourth hit of the afternoon by Leyba. The junior finished 4-for-4 with a pair of runs batted in, accounting for nearly half of the team's 10 hits. 

Glover suffered the loss despite allowing just one earned run, dropping her record to 7-4. Junior Taylor Lara worked the final 4.0 innings in relief, giving up eight hits and striking out one. 

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