March 8, 2014

Softball Blanked by Loyola Marymount, Belmont at LMU Invitational

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Freshman Christina Andrews (Southlake, Texas) batted 5-for-6 with a pair of doubles but the Brown softball team ran into back-to-back stellar pitching performances in a 5-0 loss to Loyola Marymount and a 3-0 setback to Belmont at Smith Field on Saturday. The Bears slip to 2-7 overall, while the Lions improve to 12-8 and Belmont climbs to 6-11.

Andrews collected three of Brown's four hits against LMU and did not make an out. Freshman Casey Fisher (Oro Valley, Ariz.) added a single to account for the other Brown hit, while rookie Gina Chieffallo (Eynon, Pa.) suffered the loss in the circle over 4.1 innings of work. Andrews tossed the final 1.2 innings of relief, allowing a run on a hit and two walks.

The hard-swinging Lions cranked three home runs in the game and five of their nine hits went for extra bases. Nicole Kaiser and Meghan Harman both went deep in the bottom of the third to put LMU up 2-0, and Stephanie Crist, whose lights-out pitching shut out Brown for the second day in a row, helped her cause with a two-run double to left center in the fifth.

Brown threatened in the top of the sixth when Andrews led off with an infield single and a fielder's choice put runners on first and second with no outs. A bunt moved the runners to second and third with one away but back-to-back grounders to Crist retired the side.

Courtney Moore tacked on an insurance run with a one-out solo homer in the bottom of the sixth and the Bears went down in order in the seventh to seal the Lions' 5-0 win.

Andrews continued her torrid hitting in the nightcap and roped two doubles but the Bears could not push a run across as the Belmont pitching duo of Taylor Moon and Carolyn Snodgress combined to blank Brown, 3-0.

A double play erased two Bruins singles in the top of the first, allowing Fisher to lead off the home half with a single to get things going. A bunt shifted Fisher to scoring position with one down but Moon induced consecutive grounders to end the inning.

Belmont got on the board in the top of the third, using some aggressive base running to take a 1-0 lead. Kirbie Ferrell ripped a one-out single to center, stole second and scampered to third on a two-out infield single. The Bruins then executed a double steal and Ferrell sped home on the throw to second.

Andrews led off the bottom of the fourth with a two-bagger to the right center field gap and stole third to put pressure on Belmont, but Andrews found herself stranded again when two grounders back to the pitcher silenced the threat.

Ashley Hammer's RBI double in the fifth and a one-run Snodgress single in the sixth put Belmont ahead 3-0. Another Andrews double with two down in the sixth would be the final hit for the Bears as Snodgress came on in relief and sat the Brown batters down in order for the save.

The Bears wrap up the LMU Tournament tomorrow when they face St. Mary's at 2 p.m. and the Lions at 4 p.m.