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Softball - Wed, May 3, 2017 - posted by Seth Preuss
Crystal Cano tripled in her final game for HIU
Crystal Cano tripled in her final game for HIU

COSTA MESA, CA – Hope International watched its 2017 softball season end after back-to-back losses at the 2017 GSAC Softball Tournament hosted by Vanguard. The Royals won their way to a matchup with tourney host Vanguard on Tuesday and would face San Diego Christian the next morning in a loser-out game that ended the Royals' run in the tournament.

Vanguard entered the tournament as the top seed and the regular season GSAC Champion – the Royals were the Lions' first opponent of the tournament with a 4:15 pm game at the Lions' home field.

Tori Franks got the start and pitched her third game of the 2017 season against the Lions, lasting four and a third innings with a single run allowed on four hits and a walk. Franks was lifted for Alejandra Guillen in the fifth and Guillen would give up three runs – only one of them earned – on three hits while also striking out one Vanguard batter.

The Royals were shut out for just the fifth time in 2017 and for the second time by Vanguard during the year – Vanguard had previously defeated HIU by an identical 4-0 tally at Fullerton College to snap the Royals' 15-0 winning streak.

The Royals generated five baserunners during the game but were unable to plate any in the ensuing shutout loss. Vanguard also struggled to plate its runners as the Lions put 15 runners on base but plated only four runs. Despite limiting Vanguard to a scoring rate of 27% with runners on base, the Royals were unable to down the top-seeded team and fell into the loser's bracket of the tournament.

HIU would face the winner of San Diego Christian vs. Menlo and San Diego proved too much for the Oaks, eliminating Menlo from the tournament with a 1-0 game in the first loser-out game of the tournament. After the Hawks survived the second-seeded Oaks, HIU faced them once again in the first game of the day on day two of the Tournament.

The tourney rematch began much the same way that the previous day's matchup had gone – neither team could score in the early going as each pitcher worked around runners and got good help from their respective defenders.

The Hawks finally got a break after struggling against Guillen for 22 innings during the 2017 season – a pair of HIU errors in the field allowed two SDC runners to score unearned and put the Hawks in front 2-0 after four frames.

The Royals got one run back in the sixth after Justice Walker led off with a single and got all the way to third after the left fielder overran the ball. Walker came in after Crystal Cano followed her with a legitimate triple into the alley in right center to make it 2-1.

After blanking SDC in the sixth HIU was able to tie the game after Samantha Molina doubled to left field and scored on a triple laced into right center by Ally Painter. Painter was left standing at third after the Royals stranded a runner 60 feet from home for the second straight inning, and the Hawks made them pay in the bottom of the inning.

The Hawks led off with a single up the middle but HIU was able to get the next two batters out without allowing a runner any further than second base, but after walking the top of the Hawks' order the Hawks' second baseman laced a double into left field to score the walkoff run.

With the walkoff run, SDC eliminated their second opponent from the 2017 GSAC tourney and sent HIU home for the final time in the 2017 season. The Royals finish their historic season with a program-best 30 wins against 17 losses after also setting the record for longest winning streak. The Royals say goodbye to their five seniors after the loss – Guillen, Cano, Jocelyn Young, Cynthia Martinez, and Alyssa Nava have all played their final collegiate game for HIU. Check back soon for a season recap article on our website.

 
Softball
Overall GSAC Streak
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