April 5, 2014
Long Beach, Calif. - Erin Jones-Wesley set Long Beach State's career wins record, Amanda Hansen threw a complete-game one-hit shutout, and the 49er offense combined to score 15 runs in a pair of shutout victories over UC Riverside in a near-perfect day at the 49er Softball Complex for The Beach.
Jones-Wesley came into Saturday's doubleheader with UC Riverside (19-19, 0-5 Big West) tied with Meredith Cervenka, having won 78 games pitching for Long Beach State. The senior, spotted two runs early by a dangerous offense, struck out five and scattered four hits over five innings to earn her 27th career shutout and win No. 79, the most in Long Beach State (28-9, 5-0 Big West) history.
Cya Neal tripled to put a base-runner on in the first inning, and scored on a single from Hannah De Gaetano. The 49ers pushed across one more run in the first inning, and then scored three more in the third inning on a two-run single from Ashlynn Booker. Long Beach State then closed out the game early with a trio of runs in the bottom of the fifth, with a single by Shayna Kimbrough walking-off the Highlanders after doubles in the inning from Karli Sandoval and Booker.
As if determined not to be overshadowed, junior Hansen hit Dionne Anderson to start game two, but then retired 12 in a row and was buoyed offensively by a five-run fifth inning, with the key hit coming on a two-run double by Karli Sandoval to break the game open.
Hansen held the Highlanders hitless through five, and the 49ers were one base away from ending the game in the fifth. Pushing across two runs on back-to-back RBI singles in the bottom of the fifth, Kimbrough was on third with one out, but Ashley Ercolano was able to pick up an groundout, and with the bases loaded, escaped the inning with a flyout to deep center field.
Hansen worked through a hitless sixth frame as well, but Haley Harris broke up the no-hitter with a single to center field with one out in the seventh. The junior collected the final two outs without any additional trouble, however, and finished with a career-best one-hit outing in her 13th win of 2014.
Complementing the dominant pitching performances, the 49er offense picked up 15 runs and 19 combined hits on the day. Neal hit her third triple of the year, and Sandoval had four hits, going 4-for-4 with three walks to lead the LBSU offense.
Long Beach State will return to the 49er Softball Complex Sunday for the final game of the UCR series at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3, part of nine in a row that will be shown on the ESPN family of networks.
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