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March 24, 2012

PLU Opens Texas Trip With Sweep of Hardin-Simmons

ABILENE, Texas - Pacific Lutheran opened an important 10-game Texas road trip Saturday with a doubleheader sweep of Hardin-Simmons at Ellis Field. The Lutes won by 1-0 and 8-0 scores.

PLU, ranked No. 6 in NCAA Division III, improved its season record to 18-6, while Hardin-Simmons is now 13-7 after being swept aside by the Lutes.

First Game - PLU 1, Hardin-Simmons 0

Stacey Hagensen threw the complete-game shutout for the Lutes, limiting the hosts to just four hits while walking none and striking out eight.

The game's only run came after two outs had been recorded in the third inning. Amanda Goings, who had led off the game with a single only to be stranded at third base, stroked a two-out double before Haley Harshaw drew a walk. Hagensen, the pitching star, followed with a single to center field to drive in Goings.

The Lutes had plenty of other scoring opportunities but failed to cash in. They left three runs on base in both the fourth and sixth innings and two more on base in the fifth.

Hardin-Simmons got four runners as far as second base against Hagensen, who won her ninth consecutive start.

Goings finished with three of the Lutes' six hits.

Second Game - PLU 8, Hardin-Simmons 0

Kaaren Hatlen and Leah Butters teamed up on the shutout and the PLU offense broke loose for eight runs on 10 hits.

Hatlen improved her season record to 7-1, allowing three hits while walking two and striking out one in four innings of work. Butters picked up her first save of the season, allowing no base runners and striking out two in pitching the final three innings.

After struggling to score runs in its previous four games, the Lutes tallied five on four hits and two steals in the opening inning. Hagensen, Hatlen and Amanda Hall all had run-scoring singles and Lindsey Matsunaga and Katie Lowery added RBI ground outs in the inning.

PLU added two more runs in the fourth on a two-out, two-run error, while its final run came in the seventh on Matsunaga's sacrifice fly after a Lauren Watson single and Hall double.

Hall had three hits and Hatlen drove in three runs to pace the PLU offense.

The Lutes are back in action on Monday afternoon when they play a neutral site doubleheader against Mary Hardin-Baylor in Tyler.

- PLU -