Seasiders cage Tigers

Seasiders cage Tigers

LAIE, Hawaii – Senior outfielder Tiffany Smith's bat and strong pitching in both games led BYU-Hawaii softball to its first doubleheader sweep, 7-0 and 6-4 over Occidental College on Monday afternoon.

Smith finished 3-for-7 at the plate with six RBI, a double and a triple. Meghan Wantz (3-7) pitched a complete game shutout in the first game for the Seasiders (5-13, 1-7 PacWest), allowing only three hits. Pitisi Tualau (1-2) pitched five innings in relief for the win in the second game.

Alex Battest led the Tigers (5-9) with a 6-for-7 performance and two RBI.

Game One

BYU-Hawaii's Sarah Captain walked to lead off the bottom of the second and Lizabelle Talataina laid down the sacrifice bunt to advance her into scoring position. Alexa Barrett sent a ball down the right field line for the RBI double in the next at bat to give BYU-Hawaii a 1-0 lead.

Occidental threatened to score in the top of the fourth inning when Battest singled up the middle and Alexis Funaki advanced her to second on a sacrifice bunt. Bailey Stevens advanced Battest to third on a single up the middle, but Wantz forced back-to-back groundouts to end the threat.

The Seasiders' bats came alive in the bottom of the fourth beginning with a single from Captain. A sacrifice bunt from Talataina advanced her to second and a single to left field by Barrett sent her to third. Kalynn Latu placed a perfect bunt in front of home to reach first and load the bases. Rebecca Mawson stepped up to the plate and singled through the left side to bring home Captain. Smith tripled to deep right field to clear the bases and give BYU-Hawaii a 5-0 lead.

The Seasiders' momentum carried over into their defensive performance in the top of the fifth as Wantz struck out a pinch hitter and the next two batters grounded out to first and second, respectively.

The Seasiders added two more runs in the sixth. Latu singled up the middle with one out and Brandy Karl beat out the throw with two outs to put runners on first and second. Latu then snuck under the tag to steal third and scored on a wild pitch to make it 6-0. Smith sacrificed to right to score Karl from third for the final run of the game.

Game Two

Smith got on base on a fielding error to lead off the second game. She advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Roxanne Denis and then to third on a single by Brittany Vasquez. Captain reached first base on a fielder's choice and Smith came home on the grounder to short.

The Tigers answered with two of their own in the top of the second inning. Morgan Giusti led off the inning with a walk and Cora Roberts reached on a throwing error to put runners on the corners with no outs. Samantha Yee was hit by a pitch to load the bases and pinch runner Stephanie Stamnes came home on Natalie Glover's grounder to second. Battest singled to center to score Roberts, but some confusion in base running caught her off the bag at first to end the inning with the Tigers ahead 2-1.

BYU-Hawaii retook the lead in the bottom of the frame. Mawson drew a two-out walk and Karl had another infield single to put runners on the corners. Smith stepped to the plate and sent the first ball she saw to left center to score both Seasiders for the 3-2 lead.

After a scoreless third inning, Latu led off the bottom of the fourth with a single to center. After she advanced on a sacrifice bunt, Karl singled on a bunt up the first-base line and Latu scored when the throw to first went out of play.

Bailey Stevens tripled down the right-field line for the Tigers with one out in the top of the fifth, but Tualau worked her way out of the jam retiring the next two batters. In the bottom of the inning, Vasquez tripled to right field to lead off and Captain brought her home on a single, putting BYU-Hawaii ahead 5-2.

The Tigers rallied in the sixth, stringing together three singles to center field by Samantha Yee, Mackensie Priley and Battest to cut the lead to 5-4.

Mawson walked to lead off the bottom of the sixth and advanced to second on a sacrifice. Smith then singled up the middle to score pinch runner Corallee Alexander for the insurance run.

Morgan Giusti drew a walk with one out to bring the tying run to the plate for Occidental in the top of the seventh, but back-to-back fly outs ended the threat for the Seasider victory.

BYU-Hawaii returns to the diamond on Tuesday for a doubleheader with Holy Names beginning at 1 p.m. HST at the BYU-Hawaii softball fields. Live stats will be available online. 

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