Softball Falls In Two One-Run Heartbreakers
Long Beach State outhits both No. 10 UCLA and Harvard in a pair of losses.
Long Beach, Calif. - Long Beach State pitched well and played well in two games Saturday, but couldn't come up with timely hitting when needed in a 1-0 loss to No. 10 UCLA and a 2-1 loss to Harvard.
Freshman Devyn Magnett pitched brilliantly against No. 10 UCLA (20-5), but one missed pitch proved to be the difference in a 1-0 loss to the Bruins. Magnett held the Bruins to just four hits in her second complete game of the weekend, but a solo home run from Brianna Tautalaufa in the second inning was the only run of the game.
Long Beach State (7-13-1) threatened in the second inning, as Sammi Gyerman was hit by a pitch with one out, and then stole second base to put a runner in scoring position. A walk put two runners on for Rachel Loera, who delivered a solid single, but Gyerman was thrown out in a very close play at the plate in the best chance of the day for the Beach.
Johanna Grauer entered in the third inning and pitched the rest of the game for the Bruins to collect the win. The Beach picked up three hits against her, but five strikeouts and no runs later UCLA ended up with the 1-0 win, as Long Beach State stranded six runners to UCLA's three on the day.
In the second game, Long Beach State again came up just short, this time against Harvard. Christina Clermont escaped a first inning jam, and then struck out a pair in the bottom of the second to make her way through the first two innings unscathed.
In the third inning, Harvard was able to break through. A leadoff single from Rhianna Rich followed by a walk and a hit batter loaded the bases with no outs, and the Crimson took advantage. A seeing-eye grounder through the left side scored one, and then a sacrifice fly brought home what would be a crucial run to give Harvard a 2-0 lead.
The Beach pulled back a run in the bottom half. Nichole Fry was hit by a pitch, and after a fielder's choice put LT Torres on, a second grounder and an RBI single from Jessica Flores scored the first run of the day for LBSU. That would be it however, as while the 49ers had runners on in each inning the rest of the way, the big hit never came in a 2-1 loss.
In addition to the second-game RBI, Flores also pitched well in relief, striking out three in 1.2 innings of work without allowing a batter to reach base. Torres also finished with three total hits on the day to lead the Beach.
Long Beach State will enter into their busiest week of the season. First, the Beach will host a marquee three-way date at the LBSU Softball Complex on Tuesday, March 14. No. 5 Arizona and No. 9 Oklahoma will start the day at 10 a.m., followed by the Beach playing Arizona at 12:30 and Oklahoma at 3 p.m. The Beach will then host Texas on Wednesday and then travel for a five-game tournament in Santa Clara over the weekend.
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