May 19, 2012
Tempe, Arizona - It was a day of the ultimate highs and the deepest lows for the Long Beach State softball team at the Tempe Regional of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday.
The 49ers kept their season alive with a walk-off 5-4 win in the ninth inning over LIU Brooklyn, only to see their season end with a 2-1 loss in eight innings against No. 25 Syracuse later in the evening.
LBSU (29-25) had its season end in extra innings at the regional tournament on Saturday night for the second consecutive season. Last year, the 49ers were eliminated by San Diego State in nine innings.
Syracuse (42-15) advances to play No. 2 Arizona State on Sunday. The Orange will need to beat the Sun Devils twice to advance to the NCAA Super Regional, while ASU needs just one win.
Game 1: Long Beach State 5, LIU Brooklyn 4 (9)
The 49ers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first on RBI singles up the middle by Neal and Tupua-Tautalatasi.
Shayna Kimbrough scored the first run after advancing to second on a throwing error on Blackbird third baseman Madison Green. Neal came around to score on Tupua-Tautalatasi's single.
The Blackbirds answered with two runs in the top of the third to tie it. Paris Shipp hit a two-run home run over the left field wall with two outs scoring Megan Sheaf.
The 49ers took the lead back in the bottom of the fourth and threatened to blow it open but couldn't get the key hit. Nalani St. Germain led off the inning and hit the first pitch over the scoreboard in left field to put LBSU up 3-2. It was her fourth home run of the season and her first since March 10. LBSU loaded the basis later in the inning but couldn't add any more runs.
LIU (25-35) made the 49ers pay for the missed opportunity getting two runs in the top of the fifth to take a 4-3 lead. Shipp did the most damage with a RBI triple off the glove of St. Germain in right field to tie the score. She put the Blackbirds on top when she scored on a single by Nichole Toven.
Carrasco tied the game in the bottom of the sixth hitting with a two-out solo home run to right center to eventually send the game into extra innings tied 4-4 and set up Tupua-Tautalatasi for some postseason heroics.
Erin Jones-Wesley got the win in relief of Taylor Petty, who relieved Jones-Wesley earlier in the game. Jones-Wesley went 5.1 innings over her two stints in the game allowing four runs on six hits. Petty gave up just two hits and had four strikeouts in 3.2 innings.
Game 2: No. 25 Syracuse 2, Long Beach State 1 (8)
Karli Sandoval homered to tie the game in the fourth and Jones-Wesley pitched eight innings and allowed just two runs on four hits but it wasn't enough as the Orange used a solo home run by Jasmine Watson in the eighth to beat the 49ers.
Syracuse pitchers Stacy Kuwik and Jenna Caira handcuffed the 49er offense most of the game allowing just a pair of hits, while walking only one. Sandoval's homer and a St. Germain double in the fourth were LBSU's only two hits.
LBSU did put runners on second and third with one out in the first inning, but the 49ers couldn't get a run in against Kuwik.
Syracuse took a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth on a Julie Wambold double off the centerfield wall. Jones-Wesley shut the Orange down after the shaky start until Watson's lead off blast to over the left field fence in the eighth inning.
Jones-Wesley (21-13), who pitched 13.1 innings in LBSU's two games, struck out six Orange hitters. Jenna Caira (26-8) picked up the win for Syracuse.
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