Courtesy: Rachel McDaniel
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Bombs Over Vegas
Courtesy: CBU  
Release: 02/08/2013
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. --- California Baptist University posted a 2-1 day in a trio of games Friday at the Desert Stinger Invitational.

Falling just short in their opener, the Lancers offense burst to life for 29 runs and two wins to close the day.

"Having that kind of offense, we never feel like we're out of a game," said CBU Head Coach Bill Baber. "It helps our pitchers to know that and not get rattled if we get behind. We still need to shore some things up in our pitching and especially defensively behind them. We can't give teams extra at-bats and runs with mental mistakes."

Freshman Jessica Avila made the first start of her collegiate career to open the day against Colorado School of Mines and was greeted with six runs on five hits and an error in the first inning by the opposition.

After that the rookie settled in, giving up just two unearned runs and three hits the rest of the way, but the Lancers offense came up just short.

CBU scored one in the second and three in the third, then added two more in the fifth, but the two more runs tacked on by CSM kept the win out of reach.

The Lancers got home runs from Rachel Meyer, Mara Rodriguez and Sloan McHann in the game. Five different players drove in runs for CBU.

Facing Montana State Billings immediately after, the Lancer bats left nothing to chance in the second game of the day.

CBU exploded for 11 runs through the first three innings, defeating the tournament hosts in five.

Savannah Miller blasted her first home run of the season, opening the game with a first inning grand slam to set the tone for the Lancers. CBU added another run in the second and five more in the third. Meyer also added her second homer of the day, third of the season, in the third inning.

Miller led all players with five RBI on a 2 for 4 day and Rodriguez went 3 for 4 with three RBI and three runs scored.

Belinda Renne gave up three runs on five hits in the opening two innings, but never let the Yellow Jackets back in it, giving up one run and one hit the rest of the way. She moves to 2-0 on the season.

A three hour break and considerably colder temperatures still couldn't cool off the CBU offense as the Lancers came back with 13 more runs in the nightcap.

Despite falling behind 5-0, the Lancers answered with three runs in the second on a Danae Leiser home run. After two Chadron State runs in the following frame CBU poured on six in the bottom of the third.

Andie Banuelos plated a pair with a single in the inning and Rodriguez drove in three more with a one-bagger as well. Rodriguez led the Lancers with seven RBI on the day.

"Mara is a workhorse out there," said Baber. "She does everything for us, from diving for balls in the field to driving them in at the plate. Savannah also played great. She called a great game and her grand slam was a huge lift for us early in that game."

The offensive outburst helped Avila continue her rebound from the opener as she pitched the final four innings of the contest to get the win. She gave up one run on five hits in the game. Overall, after giving up the six runs in her first collegiate inning, Avila threw 10 innings giving up eight hits and just one earned run.

"I thought Jessica responded very well after a tough first inning," said Baber. "To come back like that on her first day as a collegiate pitcher is impressive. She showed a lot of toughness and that's what we need."

Meyer added yet a third home run on the day in the final game, giving her four in five games so far this season.

CBU moves to 3-2 on the season. The Lancers have two more games tomorrow to close out the early season invite.


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