Long Beach State Wins Extra Inning Duel Against No. 21 James Madison
Meza strikes out nine as the Beach scores three in extra innings.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Cielo Meza continued a dominant start to the season, striking out nine batters in an eight-inning complete game effort as Long Beach State prevailed in extra innings over No. 21 James Madison, 4-2.
Long Beach State (3-0) got another outstanding pitching performance from Meza and freshman Naomi Hernandez stayed hot to help the Beach pick up their first win over a ranked opponent this season in a classic pitcher's duel.
Neither team was able to get on the board through the first three innings, but Long Beach State pushed through in the top of the fourth. Hernandez started the inning with a leadoff double, and after a sacrifice from Jessica Flores, Tierra Falo came through with the RBI single to give the Beach their first run against Odicci Alexander.
James Madison (1-1) answered in the bottom half, however, as Alexander picked up one of the Dukes' two hits, but it was a big one. A home run to left field tied the game. Long Beach State would be the only team that threatened from there, stranding two runners in the sixth as the game headed to extra innings.
-- LBSU Softball (@LBSUSoftball) February 9, 2018
With the international tiebreaker in place right away, Long Beach State squeezed their runner to third, and then a sharp hit right back to the pitcher from Hernandez put the Beach back out in front. Flores then kept the action going with an RBI triple, and then came home herself on a single from pinch hitter Taylor Roland to make the score 4-1.
In the bottom half, a single and a sacrifice fly brought home the placed runner, but Meza retired the final two batters with a strikeout and a fielder's choice.
Meza went the distance for the Beach, striking out nine batters and allowing just two hits and the one earned run. Hernandez finished the day with six hits for the Beach, and has eight total over the first three games of her collegiate career.
Long Beach State will face the same two teams again Saturday in the final day of the Puerto Vallarta College Challenge. The day will start against Nevada at Noon, and then the Beach will once again take on James Madison at 3 p.m.
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