The Cougars conquered the Holy Names Hawks this weekend, taking a four-game series sweep
Azusa Pacific’s softball team battled against Holy Names this past weekend in a four-game series. With a doubleheader on both Friday and Saturday, the Cougars found themselves victorious in all four games, earning their first four-game sweep of the season.
On Friday, the Cougars exploded onto the scene offensively, scoring 19 runs in their first game, defeating the Hawks, 19-4 in five innings, and then taking game two with a 4-2 victory.
On Saturday, APU found themselves dominating Holy Names again in the first game, with the score of 10-2, and then winning the second game 3-2.
Although the second game on Saturday didn’t have as much action as the first, it was won by sophomore catcher Jenna Gorman, who hit a walk-off single with bases loaded in the seventh inning to clinch the win and the sweep for the Cougars after the game was tied at two.
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“It feels really good to have these wins. We only have a few more weeks of season left, so we are trying to wrap up as many wins as we can. It is always hard coming out to play as a team four times, so it was really nice to win all four,” senior third-baseman Erin Jaramillo said.
Winning these games demonstrated the team’s motivation, energy and support in working together as a team.
“I think our energy was up the entire game, which is always hard, so I think we did a good job of motivating our team and staying energized, also being supportive of everybody who is going up to bat and try to accomplish something,” Jaramillo said.
Senior infielder Illiana Jimenez shared how the team stayed driven to continue working and supporting each other as a team.
“Overall it feels great, at first our season was rough, so we actually had this professional softball player come in earlier this week to talk to us about how softball itself is a hard to win ballgame. So I think just having that reminder to light that fire and keep on trying no matter if we expect to beat this team or not,” Jimenez said.
Both Jimenez and Gorman hit 1.000 at the plate in game one on Saturday.
Jimenez also acknowledged how her teammates did great in holding different runs throughout the games.
“I would say all of our pitchers did really well to keep them to one or two runs, which is really good, because that gives your offenses a chance to really hit the ball and feel confident going up to the play. So I think our pitchers did a really good job of holding only a couple runs,” Jimenez said.
APU head coach Carrie Webber affirmed how well her team performed in these two games and how the final results made her feel about her pitchers’ performance and effort.
“[The sweep] was wonderful! I mean it is always nice to win, but we won in a really good fashion. We won with five innings in the first game and the second game we won in the last inning, so it was like the best of both worlds there,” Webber said. “I am just really excited and happy for the girls, because it is always nice to finish the weekend with four wins. Our pitchers were doing really well staying ahead on batters and keeping them off bases.”
Sophomore pitcher Kat Ung earned her eighth and ninth win in the circle, while pitchers Gaby Grabowski, Megan Mejia and Anneliese Davis all held their own on the mound in the four-game series.
Webber also explained how the team moves forward to the next game after one game is finished within a series, by learning from the finished game and taking those lessons to the next one.
“We have Sunday off then we play again on Monday. So we do not get to prepare ourselves for these games other than use what we have done out here to propel us into those games. I think just continuing to work good approaches of the play and our pitchers working ahead will help us on Monday,” Webber said.
Now, 17-22 on the season, the Cougars will take on Notre Dame de Namur at home on Monday in a PacWest doubleheader.
With only two more weeks left in the season, Jimenez expressed how she felt about the conclusion of her softball career at APU, but also how the team is working hard to finish the season strong.
“As a senior, it is a bummer that these are going to be my last games, but I think as team, finishing strong and giving it our all because we never know what is coming. I have known nothing but softball my whole life, I have dedicated 18 years into softball. So I am little sad and a little happy to for the people I have come across with,” Jimenez said.
Nonetheless, Jaramillo shared how the team still stays driven and ready to perform, also how they get prepared physically and mentally overall for next week’s games.
“We are just trying to do the best we can with all we have, so we are excited to come out and just play two games and not four. It was really hard this week because we played this team two times yesterday and today. So next week, [after Monday], we won’t play again until Friday, which is a really good time for us to recover and take care of business and be able to rest for a few days,” Jaramillo said.
After Notre Dame de Namur, the Cougars will hit the road to take on Concordia in a doubleheader on Friday, April 20th and Biola on Friday, April 27th, before coming back home and finishing the season against Dominican in a doubleheader on April 28th.