The Oaks losing streak reached eight today, after Menlo was swept by the rival HNU Hawks in this afternoon's conference twin bill. Holy Names took both affairs by finals of 10-2 (in five innings) and 6-1. With the two losses the Lady Oaks remain winless in conference, now at 0-5, while posting an overall record of 8-22. The Hawks improve to 19-17 with a conference mark of 4-4.
Menlo fell victim to strong HNU starting pitching today, as the dynamic duo of Valerie Grijalva and Stephani Fairclough posted consecutive gems to complete the series sweep. Grijalva, the native of Bakersfield, tossed four innings of strong softball, surrendering just three hits and two runs to pick up the game one win.
The Lady oaks did jump on the board first in the opener, scoring a 1st inning run on a two out RBI double by Jessica Soliai. HNU responded with four in the top of the 2nd behind five singles and two sacrifice flies. First baseman Allison Snider drove in the final run of the frame with a sacrifice fly to left, as part of a three RBI game one performance for the junior from Stockton.
The Hawks did most of their damage off Mikayela Viramontes, who was saddled with her fifth loss of the year. Holy Names was able to put the game out of reach with a four-run top of the 4th inning to extend their lead to 8-1. Snider had a key run scoring knock in the inning, while Jordyn Elwood, Alexis Moctezuma, and Rachel Martinez drove in runs in the frame as well.
Menlo would cut the lead to 8-2 in the bottom of the 4th, thanks to a solo home run by Emmeline Wang, her third of the season, but HNU plated two in the 5th to put the game in mercy rule range.
The second game of the double dip featured an intense pitcher's duel, as a pair of seniors locked up in the circle. The Lady Oaks sent Jessica Cobb to the bump and the Hawks countered with Stephani Fairclough.
Through four Holy Names was clinging to a 2-1 lead, but would extend their margin to 5-1 by posting a three-run top of the 5th. The aforementioned Alexis Moctezuma and Samantha Fisher did the brunt of the damage, as Moctezuma touched them all with a two-run round tripper and Fisher roped an RBI double into the gap in left center for the Hawks' fifth run of the tilt. Fisher ended the game with three RBI's while Moctezuma had an impressive seven RBI's over the course of the series.
With Menlo down 5-1 heading in the bottom of the 6th, the Lady Oaks got their final look at the game. After Fairclough retired the first batter in the inning, three straight singles by Jessica Soliai, Stephanie Gilbert, and Emmeline Wang loaded the bases with just one down. Credit Fairclough though, who found a way to sail through the damage completely unscathed with a pop up on Kayla Cisneroz and a groundout on Shannon Chapman to preserve the 5-1 lead.
Fairclough would go on to pitch a 1-2-3 7th to pick up the complete game win, while Cobb's hard fought complete game effort resulted in a tough luck loss.
The Lady Oaks will look to rebound with a quick turnaround this Monday, April 9th. Menlo will travel Simpson University for the start of a three-game series with first pitch slated for 3:00pm.