Wrapping up its regular season with 11 wins in its last 13 games, the Loyola Marymount University softball team still has a shot at the West Coast Conference title.

The Lions (35-18 overall and 11-4 in WCC) are a half game behind conference leader Brigham Young (10-2), which plays three games at Santa Clara this weekend. The Cougars need to win two of three to claim the title; a Bronco sweep gives LMU the championship.

Here’s how the Lions closed out the regular season:

April 27-28: The Lions swept a three-game set with St. Mary’s at Smith Field. In a doubleheader opener, sophomore first baseman Delanie Wisz smacked a homerun and two-run double, and Linnay Wilson got the 4-1 win in relief.

Then the Lions battled back to win the nightcap 2-1 in 15 innings, as Desiree Moreno drew a bases-loaded walk to tie the game 1-1 in the ninth, and Megan Dedrick singled home Irma Sanchez in the 15th for the walkoff win. Hannah Bandimere pitched five innings of scoreless relief after Samantha Manti had allowed just two hits and one unearned run in the first 10.

The following day, LMU settled matters early, with three runs in the first and five in the second to coast 8-0 behind Bandimere and Wilson’s four-hitter. Sophomore third baseman Andrea Gonzalez’ four RBIs included a bases-loaded double in the first, and Dedrick, a sophomore shortstop, added her own three-run two-bagger in the second.

May 4-5: Concluding WCC regular season play against Pacific in Stockton, LMU split a May 4 doubleheader, then romped in the finale. In game one, Wisz’ two-run homer created an early lead, and Bandimere pitched a complete game seven-hitter to win 4-1. In the nightcap, freshman Riley Ehlen’s two-run homerun and Gonzalez’ RBI double weren’t quite enough as Pacific ended LMU’s six-game winning streak, 4-3.

But on Saturday, the Lions erupted with a seven-run first inning that included Molly Grumbo’s bases-loaded double, and Wisz banged out four of LMU’s 14 hits in a 10-2 triumph as Bandimere (17-9) got the win.

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

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