LAS VEGAS --- California Baptist University came out firing on all cylinders to open the first day of the Desert Storm Tournament, hosted by Montana State-Billings, with hot bats at the Majestic Park in Las Vegas.
The Lancers first grabbed a 14-8 victory over Western Oregon, before powering through a 16-6, 8-inning win over Colorado School of Mines. CBU concluded the day with a 9-4 defeat of Northwest Nazarene to improve to 5-1. WOU falls to 0-6, CSM drops to 0-2, and NNU stands at 5-2 overall.
"I thought the girls came out on fire with the bats today," said head coach Bill Baber. "They were very patient and selective in the box. They've been putting a lot of work on their hitting and it is paying off."
Marshean August led the Lancers with a 6-for-12 showing at the plate, knocking two home runs and one double to tally eight RBI and six runs for herself. Ashley DeVaere (4-for-11) matched August's eight RBI and six runs by also grabbing a double and two homers on the day. Savannah Miller went 6-for-10 in the three games, plating four runs off a double and a home run, and added five RBI.
"I thought Marshean, Savannah, London [Miller] and Krista [Mann] played outstanding with Marshean and London making some great defensive throws," said Baber.
CBU set the tone in the first inning with Western Oregon as August led the Lancers with a home run as their first hit of the day. Two batters later, Savannah Miller followed in similar fashion, knocking her homer over right field to give CBU a 2-0 lead.
The Wolves responded with three runs to tie the game in the bottom of the second, but a sacrifice fly from Savannah Miller kept the Lancers in front in the top of the third.
WOU took over the lead in the bottom of the fourth, plating three runs off three hits, but the lead didn’t last long.
With one out and the bases loaded in the next half inning, DeVaere found the gap on the left side to send two runners home. Despite a WOU pitching change, London Miller drilled a shot over the fence in right center to score three more runs and give the Lancers an 8-6 lead.
The Lancers exploded again in the sixth, adding six more runs to their tally off four hits—three of which were home runs—and one error. Krista Mann, DeVaere and Rebecca Orozco each sent a long ball over the fence to put CBU in front 14-6, and the Lancers held on for the 14-8 victory.
Despite CMS putting runs on the board first, CBU responded in the bottom of the second as London Miller blasted a two-run homer over left to tie the game at 2-2. The Lancers continued the rally, sending seven more runners home off nine total hits and one error to hold a 9-2 cushion.
The Orediggers responded in the next half inning with a run, but CBU struck again in the bottom of the fourth. With bases loaded, August drilled her second home run of the day over center to give the Lancers a staggering 16-3 lead after four innings.
CMS scored three more runs, but wasn't able to overcome the powerful bats of CBU, dropping the game 16-6.
In the final game of the day, CBU was the first to put runs on the scoreboard, but NNU took over the lead at 3-2 in the bottom of the second. Back on offense and runners on second and third, Rachel Meyer hit a sacrifice fly to score August from third, evening the score at 3-3.
Once again, the Crusaders responded and scored in the bottom of the fifth to only trail by one, but it was the closest they'd get. In the top of the sixth, Savannah Miller started a two-out rally, sending a blooper into the gap behind the shortstop to score two runners.
Ending the hits the same way they started them, DeVaere knocked her second home run over left center to add two more to the Lancers' tally before NNU could end the top of the seventh.
Trailing by five, the Crusaders couldn't put any hits together, going down in order to secure the Lancers' third-straight victory.
CBU continues play in the Desert Stinger Tournament on Saturday, facing Adams State at 2 p.m., followed by a 7:00 p.m. contest against Chadron State.