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March 26, 2012

Two More Shutouts for PLU Softball in Texas

TYLER, Texas - Pacific Lutheran has played the first four games of its 10-game spring break swing through Texas and the Lutes have yet to allow a run after Monday's sweep of the Mary Hardin-Baylor Cru, 6-0 and 4-0, at the Texas-Tyler softball field.

Today's victories came on the heels of Saturday's 1-0 and 8-0 sweep of Hardin-Simmons in Abilene.

The Lutes, 20-6 overall and ranked No. 6 in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III poll, play doubleheaders consecutively over the next three days. Tomorrow, PLU faces East Texas Baptist (13-5), the 2010 national title winner, and on Wednesday the opponent is LeTourneau (12-12). The trip concludes back here in Tyler on Thursday when PLU battles 10th-ranked Texas-Tyler (18-4).

Stacey Hagensen and Kaaren Hatlen combined on a two-hitter in the opening game. Both UMHB singles came in the fifth inning against Hagensen, and other than that the Texas team did not get another baserunner. Hagensen went the first six innings, allowing the two hits while walking one and striking out seven. Hatlen retired all three batters she faced in the seventh inning.

The Lutes scored four runs in the second inning on four hits, a UMHB error and a walk. Montessa Califano had a bunt single to drive in the first run, the second scored on the error, and the final two runs of the frame scored on Hagensen's base hit.

PLU's other two runs came in the fifth inning on Lindsay Matsunaga's RBI single and Katie Lowery's run-scoring double.

Lowery had a pair of doubles and Califano added two singles to lead PLU's 11-hit offense.

The Lutes collected seven hits, led by Hatlen with a single and double, and also benefitted from three UMHB errors in the second game.

PLU, playing as the home team in this neutral-site doubleheader, took advantage of two UMHB errors to score the game's first run in the third inning, and it added the final three tallies in the fifth. Hagensen started the rally with a two-out single, and Hatlen followed with a double. Those two scored on Amanda Hall's single through the left side, and pinch runner Tori Hamura rounded the bases when pinch hitter Kylee Oshiro hit a double.

Leah Butters made that offense stand up as she limited Mary Hardin-Baylor to just five singles. The Cru's lone scoring opportunity came in the top of the sixth, but it was snuffed out when Montessa Califano threw out a runner at home for the third out. 

- PLU -