Softball crushes rival Wildcats in home-game series

It turned out to be quite the weekend for sophomore Amanda Llerena and the rest of the lady Seawoloves softball team as they successfully completed a two-game sweep over the Chico State Wildcats to regain the fourth position in the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) standings. Llerenea toed the rubber for both games on Saturday and was absolutely lights out, not allowing any runs in the combined 12 innings of work. She also only allowed six total hits and put together a combined total of 12 strikeouts. 

Game one was nothing but absolute dominance by Llerenea, who only allowed four runners to reach base the entire game while surrendering just two hits in her complete-game shutout. The lady Seawolves’ offense was sparked in the second inning from an RBI triple off the bat of freshman Alison Strycula to drive in the first run. Junior Holli Brown then followed up the triple by hitting a sacrifice fly to drive in Strycula from third to make the score 2-0 Seawolves. 

The game was generally quiet from then on out, due to both Llerenea and Chico State’s Alex Molina excellent pitching performances, until the sixth inning when two more runs were scored on a throwing error by the Wildcats with the bases loaded to make the score 4-0 Seawolves.  However, these runs happened to be just insurance for the Seawolves due to Llerenea, who retired the final 15 hitters in a row to secure the victory. 

For game two, the Seawolves elected to once again go with Llerena to start on the mound, and it was as if she picked up from where she left off the last game.  The Wildcats has no answer as Llerena continued her stellar performance by tossing five more shutout innings, striking out three and only allowing four base hits. The Seawolves’ bats also remained to stay hot as they busted out 15 hits against the Wildcats.

 Getting it going early, the Seawolves tacked on the first run in the first inning off an RBI single by Alison Strycula to put the Seawolves up 1-0 to start the game. From then on out, the Seawolves offense continued to set the tone of the game. By putting up five runs between the third and fourth innings to make the score 6-0, backed by Llerena’s shut down pitching, the game was too out of reach for the Wildcats. 

Strycula continued to crush the ball as she finished the game going 3-5 with three RBIs in the Seawolves’ final 9-1 win. Strycula was complemented by senior Megan Konieczka, who also finished the game with three base knocks.  Juniors Ancia Purdy and Amanda Rossetta, as well as sophomore Aubrie Tolliver, each had two hits apiece for the Seawolves, one being a two-run home run off the bat of Tolliver in the sixth inning. 

The lady Seawolves now improve to 33-17 on the year and take back the fourth place spot in the CCAA.  With only four games remaining in the season, the Seawolves will have to finish strong in order to qualify for the CCAA Championship Tournament that takes place in two weeks on May 2. The team will be looking to qualify for the tournament for the fifth time in the last six seasons.