Loyola Marymount University came close but ultimately was unable to defend its National Invitation Softball Championship last weekend, losing a 5-2 contest to Iowa State in Fort Collins, Colorado.

The Lions (40-21) were undone by four errors, including two in the seventh that led to four unearned runs for the Cyclones, three on Taylor Nearad’s bases-loaded, two-out double. LMU had taken a 2-1 lead on a fifth-inning single by Maddison Flores, after Megan Martin’s solo homerun tied the game 1-1 in the third.

The contest mirrored the opening game of the double-elimination tournament on May 24, in which LMU trailed Iowa State 5-1 after four innings but scored once in the fifth (on Riley Ehlen’s homerun), twice in the sixth (on Irma Sanchez’ single and Delanie Wisz’ sacrifice fly) and twice in the seventh. A two-out error opened the door for Flores, who banged a two-run double that sealed the win.

But the next day, LMU was beaten 6-3 by UT Arlington. The Lions fell behind early and a late rally fell short despite nine hits and RBIs from Flores, Wisz and Andrea Gonzalez.

Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus News). 

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