The ninth-ranked University of Redlands softball team captured Head Coach Laurie Nevarez's 300th career win on Monday afternoon with a doubleheader sweep of Williams College (MA). Behind solid pitching and timely hitting, the Bulldogs came from behind in both contests to register important non-conference triumphs over the Ephs. Redlands won the opener, 7-3, before cruising to the nightcap victory, 6-2.
Nevarez is in her 10th year at the helm of the Bulldogs, averaging more than 30 wins per season. She has guided the Maroon and Gray to eight consecutive Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) titles and eight straight NCAA appearances through the 2012 season. Furthermore, Nevarez becomes the first female in Redlands history to reach the 300-win milestone.
In Monday's first game, the U of R allowed Williams to jump on top early with two runs in the top of the first frame. The Bulldogs responded immediately, however, with four runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Junior second baseman Amanda Clark (Riverside, CA) led off with a double down the left-field line and Bulldog freshman left-fielder Grace Rose (Villa Park, CA) followed that up with a single to the third-base side. Senior center-fielder Sarah Beeman (Corona, CA) then came up with the big hit of the frame, smacking a two-RBI triple into deep left field. She came in to score a batter later when sophomore designated player Nikoli Sharp (Lincoln, CA) lined an RBI double into left-center field.
The Maroon and Gray would tack on two more in the second inning and an insurance run in the fourth, which proved to be more than enough for Redlands senior pitcher Kayla Uphold (Fontana, CA). Uphold went the distance in the win, dispersing four hits and allowing three runs, only one of which was earned.
Beeman registered a team-best three RBI in the win, while both Sharp and Clark tallied two hits apiece.
Game two saw the Bulldogs allow an early run again in the first inning, but the U of R scored two in the bottom of the second to take the lead. Junior catcher Kristen Hooper (Riverside, CA) registered the timely hit of the inning, lining an RBI double to center field.
The Bulldogs extended the advantage by tacking on another run in the fourth inning when freshman left-fielder AJ Carrasco (Whittier, CA) hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring freshman third baseman Addie Oeleis (Temecula, CA) from third base.
Williams pulled one back in the top of the fifth, but the Bulldogs scored three more runs for good measure over the final two innings, securing the milestone-clinching victory for Nevarez.
Junior pitcher Kaitlyn Hooper (Riverside, CA) threw a stellar game from the circle for the Maroon and Gray, pitching all seven innings while allowing a mere seven hits and just two runs.
At the dish, Kristen Hooper experienced a career day, going 3-for-3 with three RBI and one run scored.