Thrilling Extra Inning Comeback Leads Beach To Doubleheader Split With Loyola Marymount
Cielo Meza made her season debut in support of Christina Clermont in the win.
Long Beach, Calif. - Cielo Meza made her season debut and a spectacular catch from Sammi Gyerman flipped the day's momentum for the Beach against Loyola Marymount, as softball rallied from a 2-1 deficit to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh on the way to a nine-inning win to salvage a split against the Lions.
Christina Clermont earned the start in the second game for Long Beach State (12-18-1), scattering four hits over the first five innings, but three walks and a pair of singles in the second inning gave Loyola Marymount (13-20) a 2-0 lead in game two after the Lions won the first game of the day.
Rachael Farrington, who had pitched a complete game in the opener, came back in relief for the Lions, and would close out the inning without any further runs and worked a 1-2-3 fifth inning while initially capturing her first game magic.
Meza would make her debut for the Beach in the sixth inning, and visibly lifted the 49ers at that point. Striking out a pair in one inning of work, it provided a breather for Clermont, who returned in the seventh inning and pitched the rest of the way, striking out a pair in the top of the final inning of regulation to give LBSU a chance.
Down one run, Gyerman singled with one out in the seventh, and after a sacrifice, scored in a double from Hannah Cookson to tie the game and send the game to extra innings.
In the top of the eighth inning, Sabrina Tebou singled to start the inning, and after a flyout, a groundout to the left side moved Tebou into scoring position. Irma Sanchez then singled, but a strong throw from Cookson in left held the runners on the corners with two outs. Caitlin Harman then ripped a liner into deep center field, but Gyerman made a spectacular over the shoulder running catch to end the inning.
Clermont retired the Lions in order in the ninth, and the top of the order came up for LBSU in the bottom half. LT Torres started the inning with a single, and then Gyerman and Rachel Loera each laid down perfect bunts, both reaching on singles to load the bases with no outs. After a fielder's choice at home, Fry singled to center field to score Gyerman and give the Beach their second walkoff win at home this season.
The second game was a breath of fresh air after the first. Farrington scattered five hits in a complete game victory, while the Beach was victimized by leadoff batters all game long, as six of seven Lions reached on the day.
Sanchez singled to start the game, and after a sacrifice, scored on a single from Amanda Dirks, one of three from Dirks in the game. Shortstop Lindsey Matoi also finished with three RBI as the Lions took a 3-1 lead after the top of the fifth.
Singles from Gyerman and Cookson scored pinch runner Andrea Guzman in the bottom of the fifth inning after a leadoff walk from Lauren MacLeod, but the Lions tacked on three runs in the seventh to put the game away.
Tuesday's doubleheader marked the end of non-conference play for Long Beach State. LBSU starts Big West action this weekend at home, hosting CSUN for three games beginning with a doubleheader at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
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