Softball - Sat, Feb. 7, 2009
ATHERTON, Calif. - It may have been just the beginning of the season for Menlo College, but the Oaks saved their best for last in pulling off a pair of come-from-behind victories over visiting Patten on Saturday at Wunderlich Field.
Menlo scored three times in the sixth inning to win the opener 3-1 before it used three seventh-inning runs to force extra innings in an eventual 6-5 victory in the nightcap.
In game one the Oaks fell behind early while struggling to find a hole in the Lady Lions defense. Patten loaded the bases on an error and two walks in the second inning, taking the lead on a Valorie Miller single to center field.
Things were looking dire for Menlo, who managed just a trio of walks offensively through the first five innings, when one swing of the bat changed everything for the Oaks.
Shortstop Megan Pacchetti drew a two-out walk and designated hitter Courtney Emry followed by smashing a two-run home run to left-center field to give Menlo its first lead of the season in the bottom of the sixth inning. Susanne Thomsen then reached on an error and scored on Alisha Vegas double for a 3-1 Oaks advantage.
Menlo pitcher Pam Marchese saw the tying run reach base after an infield error and a walk, but the senior struck out Patten's Christian Rountree with two runners in scoring position to end the game.
Marchese scattered five hits and struck out three in picking up the victory in the circle for the Oaks. Menlo's only two hits came in its decisive rally.
In the nightcap the roles were reversed when Menlo took an early lead only to fall victim to a late rally.
The Oaks jumped ahead 1-0 when center fielder Angela Woerz singled, stole second base, and scored on a Pacchetti base hit. Menlo still led by the slimmest of margins when the Lady Lions offense finally got to starting pitcher Kayla Henson.
Patten chased the freshman Henson, who had allowed only three hits through five innings, when its strung together three hits and a walk to start the top of the sixth inning. Corynn McLemore drove in Rountree with a double before scoring along with Nicole Scott on a single by pitcher Tierney Estampa. Christen Guzman added a sacrifice fly to put the Lady Lions up 4-1.
Each team scored a run in its next at bat. Menlo pulled one back in the home half of the sixth when Megan Clow's sacrifice fly plated Emry after she, Thomsen, and Vegas all singled in succession. Estampa reestablished a three-run cushion for Patten, however, when she singled in Rountree, who reach on a walk.
Menlo appeared to be done for when Amber Fruiht and Megan Finney were retired to start the bottom of the seventh inning, but the Oaks were about to come through in the clutch once again.
Down to the final out, Woerz singled the first pitch she saw to left field and scored when Pacchetti followed with a double and moved to third on an errant throw. Emry doubled to right-center field to pull the Oaks within a run and tied the game on a RBI single by Thomsen.
Relief pitcher Jessica Cobb retired the side in order in the top of the seventh before the Oaks rode their momentum to victory in the home half of the inning.
Fruiht smacked a one-out single to start things before moving to second on a single to center field by Finney. Woerz then capped off a fine Oaks debut with a walk-off single to left that plated Fruiht with the winning run.
Woerz finished the game 3-for-5 at the plate while Pacchetti was 3-for-4 with two RBI's. Thomsen finished 3-for-4 with an RBI while Emry and Vegas each added two hits.
Cobb got the victory for Menlo, striking out four and allowing one run on one hit over the final three innings.
The Oaks are 2-0 on the season and take to the road next weekend for a trip to Southern California. Menlo will play a doubleheader next Sunday at Concordia in Irvine and a doubleheader the next day at Vanguard in Costa Mesa. Patten is 2-4 on the season.