Grand Canyons falls 1-0 vs. #10 Cal State Dominguez Hills in NCAA II West Region opener
CARSON, CA - Grand Canyon (34-20) lost to #10 Cal
State Dominguez Hills (42-13) by the score of 1-0 on May 4 in
its NCAA II West I Region opener at Toro Diamond in Carson, CA.
The Antelopes had just one hit - a sixth-inning single by Kayla Henry - off CSUDH pitcher Stephanie Jimenez (23-5).
In the bottom of the seventh, CSUDH pinch-runner Ciara Campos scored on a throwing error for the game’s lone run.
The Antelopes will take on Chico State in an elimination game at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, MAy 5, at Toro Diamond.
The winner will play again at 4 p.m. against the loser of the CSU Dominguez Hills-Sonoma State contest.
Fans can follow all the action with live stats and live audio.
Links to the live coverage are available at www.GCULopes.com.
“It was a pressure-packed game and our young team stood up to it and didn’t play scared or afraid,” GCU Head Coach Ann Pierson, whose team started five freshmen and two sophomores, said. “I’m proud of the way they went after it - and of our seniors, too. That’s what we need (on Saturday).”
GCU pitcher Kiki Sepulveda scattered seven hits and fell to 14-7 on the season.
“Kiki threw a great game,” Pierson said. “She was outstanding. She worked out of jams and our defense was outstanding throughout the game.”
The Antelopes went down in order in their first four at-bats. With two outs in the fifth, second baseman Vanessa Chavez reached on a walk prior to Christine Jordan (CJ) Norvell flying out to center field to end the inning.
Henry broke up the no-hitter with a single to start the sixth,
but when Haley
Walker lined to third on a hit-and-run, Henry was doubled
With one out in the seventh, PacWest Player and Freshman of the Year Kelsey Barak hit a deep fly ball to left field, but Alyssa Cruz corralled it just shy of the fence.
“We had some battles with Jimenez, but she threw an
outstanding game, too,” Pierson said. “She threw a
great game against a very good offense.”
Sepulveda got out of trouble every inning but the seventh. The first inning was her only 1-2-3 frame and she pitched masterfully – with the help of a solid defense – throughout the day.
Dominguez Hills placed its lead-off hitter on base every
inning with the exception of the the first and second, but until
the seventh, Sepulveda and the defense made sure no runner crossed
Though the lead-off hitters were getting on, they weren’t getting far. The sixth inning was the first time the Toros had a runner in scoring position with less than two outs and only the second time they were in scoring position for the game.
Khryssi Steele singled to start the sixth, but was erased on a force out to Chavez at second. Jessica Hall hit a single to move pinch-runner Catherine Brown to second. Melissa Pacheco reached on a walk to load the bases, but GCU escaped without any damage.
Jimenez grounded to Barak at short who threw home to Norvell for
the force out. Daisy Beltran grounded into a fielder’s choice
to Chavez to end the inning.
In the seventh, CSUDH's Christina Chavez led off with a single. Pinch-hitter Kaci McGinnis dropped a sacrifice bunt to move Campos to second where she eventually scored on an errant throw on an infield grounder.