Game 2 Box Score
REDLANDS, Calif. – Lauren Harvey and Karina Paavola (Jr., Kelso, Wash.) spun back-to-back shutouts and top-ranked Linfield vanquished its second Top 25 opponent in three days, blanking No. 9 Redlands twice in a nonconference doubleheader sweep Tuesday afternoon on the Field of Dreams.
In a long-anticipated matchup of conference frontrunners and past playoff adversaries, Linfield (26-2) bounced its West Coast rival 3-0 and 10-0 in five innings. The home-run happy Wildcats hit four home runs for the day – two by Karleigh Prestianni (Sr., Grants Pass, Ore.) – raising their nation-leading total to 49.
Redlands (19-7) lost its third straight after seeing a 19-game win streak halted two days earlier against Whittier.
Harvey pitched a five-hit shutout and Prestianni went 3-for-4 with a home run for the Wildcats.
Harvey (11-1) struck out six batters while walking one.
Staci Doucette made it a 1-0 game with her first at-bat, driving home Emilee Lepp from first base in the top of the first inning.
The Wildcats moved in front 3-0 in the fifth. After Doucette singled, Prestianni delivered her sixth home run of the season out of the park.
Redlands put runners at second and third with two outs in the fifth, but Harvey got Kayla Uphold to ground out to end the inning.
Linfield ganged up on Uphold, the Bulldogs starter, for 11 hits. Managing just three strikeouts, Uphold absorbed just her second loss, falling to 11-2.
Doucette and Haylie Watson (Jr., Puyallup, Wash.) each finished with a pair of hits.
Doucette’s two-run homer to left field off UR starter Breanna Ruelas got the Wildcats rolling in the first inning.
Uphold singled in the second inning, then moved to third on a sacrifice and a wild pitch by Paavola. But Paavola calmly struck out Molly Duran and Jen Boschken in order to retire the side.
The Linfield third inning featured more offensive fireworks as Jaydee Baxter and Lepp singled in succession, setting up a bases-clearing homer by Prestianni that soared over the left-field wall.
Leading 5-0 in the fourth, the Wildcats chased Ruelas from the game after loading the bases with no outs. Reliever Gabrielle Sciuto fared no better. After striking out Lisa Yamamoto (Soph., Carson City, Nev.), Sciuto gave up a grand slam homer to Lepp, her 10th fence-clearing blast of the season and fourth in seven games.
Lepp finished with a pair of hits and two runs scored. Prestianni went 2-for-3 with a double and a home run, and Baxter added matching singles for the Wildcats, who outhit the Bulldogs 9-3.
Paavola moved to 12-1 for the season, recording three strikeouts without issuing a walk. Ruelas (8-3) took the loss.
‘CAT SCRATCH: In the latest national statistical report, Linfield continues to lead NCAA Division III in home runs. . . the Wildcats have amassed 49 homers in 26 games. . . Linfield’s lineup features the No. 1 (Doucette), No. 2 (Lepp) and No. 4 (Garcia) in Division III this season . . . Doucette also leads the nation in slugging percentage (1.074) and ranks fifth in the nation in batting average (.515) . . . Baxter is fifth in runs scored per game (1.46) and Lepp ranks sixth in RBI (1.58). . . the ‘Cats extended their current win streak to 12 games . . . Monday’s scheduled doubleheader with La Verne was scrubbed after the Leopards' home field, located in a municipal park, was deemed unplayable. . . Linfield went 8-0 on the California trip, outscoring opponents 60-9. . . led by Doucette’s .609 and Lepp’s .500 averages, the Wildcats hit .362 as a team. . . Paavola posted a 0.30 ERA in 23 innings of action. . . she struck out 27 batters while logging two shutouts.
COMING UP: After returning to the Northwest, Linfield plays its next four contests on the road. The Wildcats are in Tacoma this weekend for doubleheaders Saturday at Puget Sound and Sunday at Pacific Lutheran. Both twinbills get underway at noon with live internet coverage starting at 11:50 a.m.
0.30 ERA, 27 strikeouts in four California appearances
Director of Sports Information
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