March 10, 2013
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Brittany Gardner scattered four hits and struck out eight as Loyola University Chicago (10-6) won its fourth straight game with a 2-0 victory over LIU Brooklyn (4-20) this afternoon at the USF Under Armour Showcase. The victory extends the Ramblers' winning streak to a season-high four games.
Loyola was unable to capitalize on an early scoring opportunity in the second inning when it loaded the bases thanks to an infield hit by Brie Pasquale and a pair of walks. But, with the bags packed and only one out, the Ramblers were unable to scratch out a run as LIU starter Nicole Archer retired the next two hitters via strikeout and a foul out.
The Ramblers finally manufactured a run in the bottom of the fifth when Brooke Andresen led off with a perfectly placed bunt single. After Jessica Balzano's sacrifice bunt moved Andresen into scoring position, a throwing error by the Long Island third baseman put runners at the corners for Loyola with one out and Lauren Zaworski followed with a deep fly to center that easily scored Andresen for a 1-0 Loyola lead.
Long Island threatened in the sixth and had runners on first and second with two outs, but Gardner got Celinna Cosio to fly out to left to end the inning.
Tarran Shaffer provided Loyola with a much-needed insurance run with a mammoth solo home run over the fence in left center in the bottom half of the sixth and in the seventh, after Archer reached on an error to lead off the inning, Gardner retired the next three Blackbirds to earn her fourth win of the spring.
Loyola will put its four-game winning streak on the line when it returns to the Midwest to compete in the Fighting Illini Invitational, March 15-17 in Urbana, Ill. The Ramblers open play at the three-day tournament on Friday (March 15) versus Saint Louis.