Riverside, Calif. - The Golden Eagles softball team settled for a split this afternoon at Biola University, losing Game 1 (5-6) and winning Game 2 (5-4). Both games were decided in the final inning, with La Sierra winning their game in walk-off fashion.
Game 1 started out with the Royals capitalizing on a Golden Eagles error, to take a 1-0 lead in the 1st inning. But the Golden Eagles took control of the game, scoring a total of five runs in the next two innings.
In the 2nd inning, Brittany Martinez crushed a two-run triple to right field that scored Monique Villasenor and Erika Basurto who reached base on a walk and a single, respectively.
The Golden Eagles took a 5-1 lead on Villasenor's 3-run homerun in the 3rd inning, launching a pitch over the left field fence.
The Royals cut the lead to 5-3 with two runs in the 5th inning, then capitalized in the 7th inning, when they scored three runs on four hits, to steal the 6-5 victory.
There was no lack of offense as the two teams combined for a total of 23 hits (HIU-13, LaSU-10).
Mercedes Gasparovic led the team with a 3-for-4 performance in Game 1. Villasenor led the way with three RBI's and Martinez followed, tallying the other two RBI's.
Kayla Klein picked up the win for the Royals, while Emily Campos was charged with the loss.
Game 2 proved to be another competitive match-up with the Royals, once again striking first to take a 3-0 lead with three runs in the 3rd inning.
The Golden Eagles got one run back in the bottom of the 4th inning, before taking a 4-3 lead with a 3-run 6th inning.
With only three outs away from a win, the Golden Eagles couldn't quite close the game out as the Royals took advantage of an error to score the tying run in the top of the 7th inning.
Setting things up for a walk-off victory for the Golden Eagles in the 8th inning, when Katie Witherby singled to drive in the winning run, in a 5-4 win.
Hope International finished with seven hits in the game, while La Sierra collected five hits. The Golden Eagles spread the offense around as five different players each collected a hit in the victory.
Emily Campos pitched three innings, giving up one run on two hits to pick up the win, after replacing Jackie Zacarias, who pitched the first five innings.
Witherby led the team with two of the five RBI's in the game. Gasparovic, Villasenor, and Brianna Guttierrez each finished with one RBI to round out the scoring.
The women's softball team is now 3-11 on the season. They will have a quick turnaround as they host Vanguard University tomorrow afternoon, starting at 1pm. The two teams split their doubleheader played on January 31.