The Lady Oaks suffered a tough loss in their series opening tilt this afternoon, going down 9-0 to rival Holy Names in the first of a three game set. Menlo managed just two hits in the contest as the combination of HNU's Nicole Ochoa and Stephani Fairclough proved to be too much. Ochoa tossed four innings of scoreless ball to pick up the victory while Faircough finished things off with a hitless 5th to push the Hawks record to 18-17 overall and 2-4 in the Cal Pac. With the defeat, the Oaks fall to 8-21 overall and are still winless in the conference, now at 0-3.
Momentum was up for grabs early, after Menlo starting pitcher Jessica Cobb pitched around two 1st inning singles to hold Holy Names scoreless in the opening frame. The Lady Oaks responded in the bottom half of the inning by loading the bases with just one out and the dangerous Kayla Cisneroz coming to the dish. Credit HNU's Nicole Ochoa, who danced her way right out of the jam unscathed, striking out Cisneroz and getting Jessica Soliai on a hard liner to left, to end the Menlo threat with the score still deadlocked at 0-0.
The Hawks would go on to score six in the top of the 2nd inning to push the game out of reach early. Holy Names capitalized on three walks, two wild pitches, and a key Menlo error to score their first three runs in the inning and in the process put an end to Jessica Cobb's afternoon. Despite picking up the loss, Cobb didn't pitch badly, but was more a victim of shaky Oaks' defense and her own control, as the Castro Valley native didn't actually allow an earned run.
Enter Tricia Davidson who was greeted by a two run single off the bat of Alexis Moctezuma and then an RBI double by Rachel Martinez to push the HNU lead to 6-0. The combination of Moctezuma and Martinez went 4-for-5 with 6 RBI's, sitting in the #3 and #4 spot in the Hawks lineup.
Davidson would settle down, retiring Samantha Fisher for the second time in the inning to end the 2nd, and then the sophomore from Carmichael tossed a 1-2-3 3rd to keep the Lady Oaks in the game.
However in the top of the 4th the Hawks pushed their advantage to 9-0 with a three-run frame, effectively ending Menlo's chances. The Lady Oaks put a runner on in the 4th and in the 5th, but because of the eight-run mercy rule the contest was called after five.
Menlo will look to bounce back as they complete their three-game swing with the Hawks tomorrow (April 7th) with a doubleheader scheduled to get underway at 12:00pm.