SANTEE — The Hope International University softball team split on Saturday against San Diego Christian, as the team fell in Game 1 4-3 in extra innings and beat the Hawks in the second game with a 7-0 shutout.
Karen Creech (JR/Alpine) began a two-out rally in the third inning with a single through the left side, followed by Skyler Mao (SO/Buena Park), who doubled to put runners in scoring position for Emily Puente (JR/Fresno), who put the Royals up 2-0 on a single to centerfield.
The Royals bats were quiet the rest of the game and the Hawks plated a single run in the bottom of the sixth to cut the Royals lead in half and tied things up in the bottom of the seventh on a bunt RBI single to send the game into extra innings for the second straight game.
Melanie Okazaki (SR/Cerritos) led off the eighth inning with a walk, stole second, advanced to third on Creech’s ground ball, and scored on Mao’s sacrifice fly to put the Royals on top 3-2.
The Hawks walked it off in the bottom of the eighth inning as they pieced together three hits and a walk.
Alena De La Torre (JR/Long Beach) put the Royals on the board in the second inning on an RBI single to left field to score Nicole Wise (SR/Garden Grove). who singled prior. Caitlyn Felina (JR/West Covina) singled, advanced to second on De La Torre’s hit, and scored on a wild pitch to put give the Royals a two-run lead.
Creech led off the third inning with a triple, followed by an RBI double from Mao to score Creech to push HIU’s lead to 3-0.
The Royals score four more runs in the sixth inning as Cynthia Barba (SR/Ontario) set the table with a double to lead off the inning, Okazaki followed with a walk and Creech scored Barba on an RBI double. Mao and Puente both plated another run each and De La Torre capped off the scoring in the sixth inning with an RBI single to extend their lead to 7-0.
Olivia Candelas (SO/Garden Grove) picked up the win in the circle after shutting out the Hawks, allowing five hits and no runs.
— Courtesy HIU Athletics