SAN DIEGO, Calif. – CSU Bakersfield’s road series against San Diego came down to a rubber match on Sunday. Despite another strong offensive outing, the Roadrunner softball team was unable to take the series as the Toreros prevailed in a five-inning, 16-8 victory.
“For the first time this season, I saw this team playing together,” said Crissy Buck-Ziegler, CSUB’s Head Coach. “They fought well all weekend and had some good hitting from a lot of people. I didn’t like how we ended it today, but I like how we are moving forward.”
The Toreros jumped out to big lead early on thanks to seven runs over the first two innings. The biggest inning of the two was the second as one CSUB error and the first of two home runs by sophomore Lauren Kane capped off five runs in the frame.
Trailing 7-0, the ‘Runners fought back and scored a pair of runs in the top of the third inning. After an error allowed her to reach base, junior Kaylynn Burt stole her 11th base of the season, the second-best total in the Western Athletic Conference. Outfielder Josie Flores was driven in by freshman Cydney Curran just before Julea Cavazos’ RBI single brought Burt home.
CSUB scored five runs of its own in the top of the fourth inning to tie the score at seven runs apiece. Chris Hipa, who was CSUB’s starting pitcher on Saturday, hit her team-leading second home run of the season to drive in senior Jo Larios. Cavazos’ double to center drove in Burt and Flores for two more runs and Selena Gonzalez’ second single of the game capped the inning for the 'Runners.
The Toreros answered right back with five runs of their own in the bottom half of the fourth. San Diego used five hits to drive its runs home and took a 12-7 lead over the ‘Runners. CSUB responded with a run in the top of the fifth on Hipa’s third RBI of the game, but a bases-loaded, two-out situation went squandered as a fly ball ended the threat.
USD went on to score four more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, ending the game due to the run rule, 16-8. The Toreros were offensively led by Kane, who went 4-for-4 with six RBI, and junior Kailey Hill, who also went 4-for-4 while adding five RBI and a home run of her own.
CSUB’s offense scored eight runs for the second straight game as Hipa’s three RBI were a team best. Cavazos and Gonzalez each added a pair of hits while the former drove in three runs as well. As a team, the ‘Runners tallied nine hits and five walks, but it was not enough to overcome USD on Sunday.
Hipa took the loss after pitching four innings and giving up 12 runs, nine of which were earned. The sophomore, who began the season as a part-time reliever, part-time infielder, fell in her first start and longest outing of the season. USD’s Delaney Heller took the victory as the Toreros (11-12) scooted one game closer to a .500 record.
The Roadrunners (4-16) will have little time to wait to test out this newly-found offensive momentum as their next game is Tuesday, Mar. 21, at Fresno State. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. in Fresno, Calif.