Feb. 8, 2014
Lobos 11 – Highlanders 10
The UC Riverside softball team kicked off its 2014 season with a tough 11-10 loss against New Mexico State at the Arizona State University Kajikawa Classic. Despite scoring three runs in the first inning, the Highlanders struggled to keep pace with the Lobos’ offense. The team staged a seventh inning comeback, tacking on six runs, but came up short.
As the opening bells sounded for the game, the bats of the Highlanders had no difficulty finding their target as the team opened the first inning with three runs, 3-0, due in large part to three consecutive singles.
The hot start didn’t phase the Lobos, however, as New Mexico countered with four runs themselves. Riverside native Mariah Rimmer belted a double down the left field line for the Lobos, which opened the floodgates as a single was followed by a wild pitch and two consecutive walks. Naomi Tellez then singled to the shortstop, and cleared the bases as three runners came home. The team scored four runs on three hits to lead 4-3.
The Lobos scored solo runs in the second and third innings to extend their lead to three, 6-3. UCR got one back in the top of the fourth as Taylor Wright doubled sending in Kris DeAnda for a score, 6-4. The Lobos came up with another impressive offensive sequence as they scored three runs in the fifth inning while adding two insurance runs the following at bat.
UC Riverside made their last push to win the game in the seventh inning as six runners crossed the plate. The Lobos, seemingly in control, were looking for three outs, but the Highlanders took control of the game, pounding out five hits off pitcher Carrie Sheehan. Dionne Anderson smacked a home run to bring in two runners, bringing the Highlanders to within one, 11-10. Two batters later UCR would strikeout to end the game as the Lobos held on for the victory.
Feb. 8, 2014
Bulldogs 8 – Highlanders 1
The Highlanders played their second game of a doubleheader immediately after the New Mexico game. Squaring off against Fresno State, UCR couldn’t get its offense on track as they fell to the Bulldogs, 8-1.
The Bulldogs opened the contest with a pair of scores in the first inning, 2-0. Looking to earn their first victory over Fresno State since 2002, the Highlanders cut the deficit in half at the bottom of the inning. Taylor Wright doubled to right-center, scoring Dionne Anderson who initially was hit by a pitch to lead off, 2-1.
Fresno State scored a single run in the third inning, and added three more in the fifth, and two in the seventh to lead 8-1. UCR only struck two hits after the opening inning. UCR starting pitcher Alyssa Razo worked the first five innings, struck out three, walked three, allowed six hits, and four of her six runs allowed were earned. Wright led the team with four hits on the day while three other players chipped in three hits.
Feb. 9, 2014
Broncos 3 – Highlanders 2
The UC Riverside softball team found themselves down 3-0 after five innings, and despite scoring two runs in the sixth, fell 3-2 to the Western Michigan Broncos. The game was Riverside’s third loss of the tournament.
After exploding for 11 runs on 13 hits in a win against Cal State Northridge, Western Michigan came into Sunday’s contest against the Highlanders brimming with confidence. UCR starting pitcher Alyssa Razo kept the Broncos’ bats silent early before allowing one run in the third. In the fifth inning, Western Michigan tacked on two more runs to lead 3-0.
At the top of the sixth inning, the Highlanders attempted their comeback as the first three batters advanced to base on walks. With two outs, Sommer Wilson singled, scoring a pair of runners to narrow the score, 3-2.
UCR didn’t have anything left in the tank, however, as Riverside failed to scratch in the seventh inning en route to a 3-2 loss.
Feb. 9, 2014
Sun Devils 11 – Highlanders 1
The blue and gold then faced off against nationally ranked Arizona State in the Highlanders’ final game of the tournament. UCR proved no match for the Sun Devils as the No. 7 ranked program produced 11 runs off of 13 hits en route to an 11-1 beatdown. With nearly 1,000 people on the stands, Riverside struggled on offense as the team only recorded five hits on the day, two coming from Sommer Wilson.
The Sun Devils opened the game with four runs in the opening period followed by two-run innings in the second and third. Arizona State capped off an impressive display with a three-run inning in the fourth. UCR scored its lone run in the fourth inning, down already 8-0.
The softball team next participates in the Fresno State Kick Off, beginning on Feb. 14.