Posted with permission, article and pictures, from Chaminade University
AZUSA, Calif. – The Chaminade University softball team ended the Pacific West Conference portion of their 18-day road trip Wednesday with a pair of defeats to Azusa Pacific at Cougar Softball Field.
The Silverswords were handed a five-inning 9-1 loss in the opener then dropped the series finale, 3-0.
Keaolani Takemura (Pearl City, O’ahu, Hawai’i/Mid-Pacific Institute) had hits in both games to extend her hitting streak to a career-high seven games.
The doubleheader was a makeup of Monday’s games which were rained out.
Chaminade (10-16 overall, 8-14 PacWest) lost its 12th straight while APU won its eighth in a row and improved to 24-13 and 18-6 in the conference.
Game 1: APU 9, CUH 1 (5)
The ‘Swords had a golden opportunity in the top of the first when Hailey Matsumura’s (Honolulu/Saint Francis HS) single was followed by a Takemura double off the base of the wall in left put runners at second and third with one out. However, both were left stranded.
In the bottom half of the frame, APU put runners on second and third with no out but starter Taylor Genera (Norwalk, Calif./Whitney) minimized the damage but allowing just one run.
However the Cougars did plenty of damage in a three-run second, followed by five runs in the third and fourth innings to take a 9-0 lead.
Chaminade got its lone run of the game in the top of the fifth when pinch runner Yolanda Racaza (San Pedro, Calif./Port of Los Angeles) scored on a wild pitch. With Cheyne Obara (Pearl City, O’ahu, Hawai’i/Pearl City) at third, the ‘Swords had a chance to keep the game going but a groundout ended it.
Genera took the loss to fall to 4-5 on the year.
APU’s Liz Phillips faced the minimum from the second through fourth innings in improving to 3-5 on the year. Leadoff batter Olivia Smith, who leads the PacWest in batting at .464, got on board in each of her first three at-bats, scoring twice and driving in three. She also stole her conference-leading 21st base of the year.
Game 2: APU 3, CUH 0
Chaminade nearly had a scoring chance in the first when Taryn Fujioka (Aiea, O’ahu, Hawai’i/Pearl City) was moved to second on Matsumura’s sacrifice bunt then took off for an extra base when Dani Burghardt abandoned third. However, Burghardt got to her defensive spot and, thanks to a perfect throw from Caitlin DeCaino, tagged Fujioka out. It proved unfortunate for the visitors as Takemura had a base hit on the next at-bat which was followed by Kobe Brown (Mililani, O’ahu, Hawai’i/Mililani) getting on via an error.
The Silverswords also had other prime scoring opportunities. Jaeda Cabunoc (Kaneohe, O’ahu, Hawai’i/Roosevelt) led off the second with a single and moved to second when the right fielder threw the ball into foul territory. In the fourth, Brown doubled off the wall in left center field followed by Jacobsen, who beat the throw from third base to lead off the frame. In both instances, however, the Silverswords could not push runs across.
Meanwhile, Azusa Pacific got all it needed with two runs in the second and another in the third. Ace Katie Korstrom retired the final seven batters and struck out five to improve to 11-2.
Cabunoc scattered eight hits and just one of the three runs was earned. She also held Smith hitless (0-for-4) for just the second time in her last 25 games.
The losses extended the ‘Swords losing streak in the Southern California region to 42 straight with their last wins in SoCal coming in 1992 against California Baptist. Their next opportunity to end the streak won’t be until 2024.
The Silverswords will wrap up their road trip this weekend at the annual Tournament of Champions in Turlock, Calif., which features teams from all three West Region conferences. Chaminade will open Friday against Cal State East Bay of the CCAA and the GNAC’s Montana State Billings, a former PacWest member.