USCB softball couldn’t find the big hits against a strong Reinhardt pitching staff Thursday, dropping a pair of 5-0 and 9-1 contests on the road to the NAIA’s eighth-ranked Eagles.
The hosts struck first on a rare inside-the-park home run, as Alise Hooks drilled a ball down the left-field line and zoomed across the diamond to take a 1-0 lead in the first inning of the opening game. USCB had a chance to answer back in the second and third, but the visitors couldn’t capitalize and left four runners on base. Reinhardt plated three in the fourth to expand the advantage to 4-0 before tacking on another in the fifth. The Sand Sharks again had runners in scoring position in the sixth but stranded the bases loaded, and they couldn’t take advantage of a one-out walk in the seventh as the Eagles finished off the shutout.
After both squads went down quietly in the first to start game two, Reinhardt tallied four runs in the second off of four hits to surge ahead to a 4-0 lead. Jaci Coleman looked to spark a UCSB rally in the third with an RBI-single to make it 4-1, but a double play ended the threat of a big inning. The Sand Sharks put two more runners on in the fourth before a caught stealing and groundout kept it a three-run game. Reinhardt added to its lead with a two-run homer from Lauren Parker in the bottom half, and the Eagles finished off the game in the fifth with three more crossing the plate to take the 9-1 run-rule victory.
Amber Locasto led the Sand Shark offense in the finale, going 2-for-2 and scoring the lone run.
USCB (6-4) continues the road trip Friday in Lawrenceville, Ga. to face off against Georgia Gwinnett and Rio Grande.
By Wes Kerr