Outstanding Pitching Leads Long Beach State Softball To Two Wins
Christina Clermont, Cielo Meza each throw complete game shutouts against UC Davis.
Long Beach, Calif. - In each game of Long Beach State's conference doubleheader, the Beach starting pitcher tossed a complete game shutout, as Christina Clermont and Cielo Meza were both dominant in a pair of wins over UC Davis.
Clermont retired the final 16 batters on the way to a 1-0 win in the opener, while Cielo Meza was perfect through three innings, and struck out eight on the way to a 2-0 win in game two.
In game one, Clermont dodged early trouble as UC Davis (16-21, 1-4 Big West) left five batters on base in the first two innings. After a leadoff double from Brianna Warner and a walk, Clermont struck out two straight to escape the first inning. Then in the second inning, the Aggies loaded the bases with two outs, but a fly ball to left field ended the threat.
Meanwhile, Long Beach State (16-19-1, 4-1 Big West) had pushed across the only run of the game in the first inning. Rachel Loera used her speed to stretch a liner into left field into a double, a base that was crucial as Nichole Fry's single allowed the junior to score and put the Beach in front 1-0.
That would be the only run the Beach would score in the game, but would be more than enough for Clermont, who finished off her third shutout of the season by not allowing a baserunner of the final five innings, striking out five.
It was more of the same for the Beach pitching staff in game two. Meza didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning, and Long Beach State would go on to take the lead in the bottom half of that frame.
In spite of a heavy wind, Julia Lombardi cracked her second home run of the season, a solo shot that put the Beach on top 1-0. The homer was the 15th of the junior's career, tying her for ninth all-time at Long Beach State.
Long Beach State pushed across another run in the sixth inning, as Fry drew a one-out walk, and after Lombardi was hit by a pitch, Aniesa Maulupe singled into the gap to bring home the sophomore shortstop and make the score 2-0 in favor of the Beach.
That would again be more than enough for Meza, who struck out eight and allowed just three hits in her first complete game of the season. The redshirt freshman is now 2-0 and has yet to allow a run in three appearances.
Long Beach State and UC Davis will conclude their series on Sunday, April 9 at 1 p.m. at the LBSU Softball Complex.
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