Long Beach State Homers Past No. 19 Arizona State On First Day At Judi Garman Classic
The Beach lost for the second time in the season to No. 2 Michigan in the second game Thursday.
Fullerton, Calif. - Darian Tautalafua's third-inning grand slam and Lauren MacLeod's first-inning three-run home run provided seven of Long Beach State's 10 runs, as the Beach took down No. 19 Arizona State 10-8 on Thursday. No. 2 Michigan defeated Long Beach State 11-0 in the day's second game.
Facing two ranked opponents in one day, it was Long Beach State (9-7) that jumped out early to start the tournament against Arizona State (15-3). Nichole Fry singled to start a one-out rally, which was followed by a base hit from Haley Tobler and an RBI single by Tautalafua. A fourth-straight single, this time from Julia Lombardi made the score 2-0, and then MacLeod cleared the bases with a three-run homer. The Beach pushed across one more unearned run, and led 6-0 before the Sun Devils came to the plate.
The Sun Devils showed why they were ranked, pulling back into the game. A two-run double by Nichole Chilson cut the lead to 6-2 in the first inning, and then four straight hits to start the second inning, including a home run from Katee Aguirre and an RBI double from Jennifer Soria made the score 6-4, knocking out starting pitcher Christina Clermont. Cielo Meza came on for the Beach, striking out a pair and ending the threat in the second.
Long Beach State pulled further ahead in the third inning, garnering important insurance. Singles from Tierra Falo and Alley Perkins kicked off the inning, and after Fry was plunked to load the bases, a two-out grand slam from Tautalafua gave the Beach the advantage for good. Tautalafua's homer was the fifth of the year for the senior, extending her school record.
Arizona State would chip away at the Long Beach State lead, but Meza held on to finish the game, earning her fourth win of the season in the 10-8 victory.
In the second game of the day, Long Beach State faced No. 2 Michigan (15-2) for the second time in three games, and the Wolverines used a big inning to top the 49ers for a second time in 2016.
Lacey Alderman worked a quick first inning, but ran into trouble in the second inning. A solo home run from Aidan Falk got the Wolverines on the board, and Michigan would go on to bat around in the inning, scoring five runs in total to jump out to the lead.
Senior Selene Polamalu had a solid pitching performance in relief for Long Beach State, throwing a career high 5.1 innings against the No. 2 team in the nation and holding Michigan to one unearned run until the seventh inning.
Unfortunately, Long Beach State was limited to three hits on the day, and a critical error in the seventh inning ultimately led to four unearned runs, part of five in the frame as Michigan went on to win 11-0.
Long Beach State plays two more games at the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton on Friday. The day starts at 3 p.m. against Northwestern, with a second game against San Jose State following at 7:30 p.m.
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