Walk-off wins by its baseball and softball teams highlighted the past week of athletic competition at Loyola Marymount University.
The Lions trailed San Diego 3-0 heading into the last of the seventh of their April 14 encounter. But freshman Riley Ehlen’s leadoff homerun ignited a four-run rally, capped by Irma Sanchez’ game-winning single that drove in Molly Grumb, to give LMU a sweep of the three-game series.
The following day, Ehlen smacked another homerun, her sixth of the season, that gave LMU an early 2-0 lead at Smith Field over New Mexico State. Grumbo’s double plated another run which proved decisive in a 3-2 win as Samantha Manti tossed a complete game five-hitter.
Standing 28-16 overall and 4-2 in West Coast Conference play through April 18, LMU journeyed to Santa Clara for three games on April 19 (doubleheader) and 20.
Trailing UC Riverside 4-2 heading to the bottom of the ninth on April 16, LMU capitalized on two errors that set up Brandon Shearer’s two-run single in the ninth to tie the game. Shearer then singled home Nick Sogard in the 11th for the win, made possible by stellar bullpen work (8.2 innings, three hits, no runs).
Two days earlier, the Lions had prepped for their comeback, in a sense, by rallying from a huge deficit against San Diego. Down 9-1 in the last of the seventh, LMU scored seven runs, including a three-run homerun by Tommy Delgado (who also homered against UCR), but couldn’t quite pull even.
On April 18, the Lions opened a three-game series against St. Mary’s in Moraga by losing 5-0, managing just two hits. LMU (23-14 overall, 11-5 WCC) concludes its series April 19 and 20.
Women's water polo
LMU locked up the third seed for next weekend's Golden Coast Conference Tournament in Fresno with a 15-8 win over Concordia April 17. Alena Sanchez scored three goals to pace the win.
Ranked 12th nationally, the Lions (19-9 overall, 4-2 GCC) previously defeated No. 25 Cal Baptist (Riverside) 9-5 on April 13, with three goals from GCC player of the week Hana Vilanova, a senior from Barcelona and twice an all-GCC selection.
Women’s beach volleyball
LMU is 22-10 entering this weekend’s WCC Championships at Ocean Park, Santa Monica. The second-seeded Lions are joined by top-seed Pepperdine as well as St. Mary's, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Portland and Pacific.
Last week, the Lions won three matches and lost two at the University of Hawaii Invitational in Honolulu. Both defeats came at the hands of the sixth-ranked host Rainbows.
Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News).
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