Long Beach State softball was walked off by Cal Baptist University in back-to-back games Tuesday, in the team’s last series before conference play begins.
The team’s ace Kellie White, who was recently honored with the Big West Pitcher of the Week award, was on the mound for Long Beach in the opening game. She looked to continue her already impressive season in which she is 2-1 with a 1.11 ERA.
White immediately ran into trouble in the first inning after giving up two hard hits and a walk that loaded the bases with two outs. The senior recollected herself and was able to get the next batter to ground out, escaping the inning with no damage done.
After the rocky first inning, White settled in against the Cal Baptist hitters. She went on to sit down the next ten batters she faced, striking out three in that span. White’s counterpart, Kerisa Viramontes, kept up the same pace, only allowing two Beach hits over the first five innings.
The score remained tied at zero until senior Breezy Wise blasted a home run over the center field wall, giving Long Beach a 1-0 lead with only six more outs to get. White worked quickly in the bottom of the sixth, needing just four pitches to get the first two batters out. She looked to finish off the inning, but left an 0-2 pitch up, and CBU’s Katelyn Mangrello pulled it down the line for a game-tying home run at 1-1.
Long Beach ran into trouble when a leadoff walk and bloop single put runners on first and second base.
White was able to induce a soft ground ball to third baseman, Suzy Brookshire which looked to be an inning ending double play. However, when Brooskshire threw the ball to second baseman Lilyanna Martinez, it popped out of Martinez’s glove and trickled into shallow left field, allowing CBU to score a run and walk it off.
Long Beach looked to bounce back in game two but were immediately ambushed by CBU’s bats. Freshman pitcher Shannon Haddad gave up a run in the first inning, and a two-run homer in the second, putting Long Beach in an early 3-0 hole.
Long Beach had a prime opportunity to take the lead in the fourth inning when they loaded the bases with only one out. Shortstop Cam Cecil took advantage of a 2-0 pitch right down the middle and drove it to the right field wall, scoring two. CBU’s pitcher Gretchen Goldsmith was able to bounce back and retire the next two batters, narrowly escaping with the lead.
That seemed to be the spark Long Beach’s offense was looking for however as Brookshire led off the top of the sixth with a solo shot, tying the game and knocking Goldsmith out of the game. Game one starter Kerisa Viramontes came on into relief to put out the fire. Viramontes was able to quell the Beach’s bats for the moment and got the next three batters to ground out.
CBU’s defense made a key error in the seventh, allowing centerielder, Sara Olson to get to second on a wild throw that sailed to the outfield. Wise was able to capitalize and slapped the ball to left field, scoring Olson and giving the Beach the lead heading into the bottom of the inning.
Reliever Morgan Quinlan looked to close out the game and give Long Beach a win. Quinlan immediately got into a jam after she let up a leadoff single, and the defense made a throwing error allowing runners to advance safely. CBU was able to successfully lay down a suicide squeeze, tying up the game 4-4.
CBU Freshman Makayla Jordan drove the first pitch she saw to center field, and the ball bounced off of Olson’s glove and rolled to the wall, allowing CBU to take the game 5-4.
Long Beach softball will look to bounce back when they begin Big West conference play Saturday. They will face UC Riverside at home for a three-game series.