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Jacks swept by Gators in triple-header

HSU softball lost three games on Friday to strong Gators offense

The Humboldt State softball team struggled to score runs and couldn’t keep the bats of the San Francisco State Gators quiet as the Jacks were swept Friday at McKinleyville High School. The threat of impending rain on Saturday forced the Jacks to play three straight games on Friday, totaling 21 innings of softball and stretching from nine in the morning until five in the evening.

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Illa Haley sprints for a shallow pop fly, snagging the snow cone catch in left field. | Photo by Matt Shiffler

Playing three straight games in one day might seem like a daunting task, but it didn’t change how the Jacks approached the three games. “It doesn’t change how we play the game,” Outfielder Illa Haley said. “We have to be strong and be tough.”

Game one was a pitcher’s duel as the Jacks fell to the Gators 2-1. HSU pitcher Lexee Sheiring put up a shutout on the board until the top of the 6th inning, when the Gators were able to deposit two solo home runs over the fence. Sheiring was able to put up good numbers despite having the loss on her record, allowing only two runs on seven hits and only one walk.

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Freshman right handed pitcher Megan Holt settled in during game three. Pitching three innings and only allowing one run against SF State Friday at McKinleyville High School. | Photo by Matt Shiffler

Sheiring’s effort in the pitcher’s circle was unfortunately bested by SF State pitcher Emily Mitchell, who pitched a complete game and allowed one run on eight hits and struck out five while letting four runners get a free base via the walk. The only offense came from HSU’s power source and designated hitter Rylie Carlier, who crushed a solo home run in her first at-bat of the day.

Unfortunately for the Jacks, the sleeping beast awoke for the Gators as they beat the Jacks in game two by a score of 13-2. Jacks pitcher Megan Holt struggled in the first inning, only getting one out and allowing seven runs to score on five hits before she was taken out of the game. However, there was a defensive highlight by HSU Right Fielder Lauren Lipe as she snagged a line drive just before it hit the ground and fired the ball to First Baseman Mariah Tovar to double up the baserunner at first.

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Junior outfielder Lauren Lipe singled to right field Friday against SF State Gators. | Photo by Matt Shiffler

Game three got off to a promising start for the Jacks. Megan Holt started in the circle again and faired much better than her earlier outing, going three innings and allowing one run on two hits. The Jacks would jump out to a 3-1 lead in the third inning as Illa Haley hit a hard line drive triple that would net her two RBI’s. However, Lumberjack pitching would not hold the Gators for long as they scored five runs in the last two innings to win the game 6-3 and complete the sweep.

Carlier said that since the batters saw the pitchers three times in a row should’ve helped the batter out.

“But we struggled today,” Earlier said.

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Redshirt freshman Taylor Proctor went 2 innings giving up 6 runs for the Lumberjacks on Friday in McKinleyville. | Photo by Matt Shiffler

The struggle to score runs also put a damper on the team’s mood at the end of the day.

Head coach Shelli Sarchett said having only five runs in three days is unacceptable. “We’re a better hitting team than that, but it’s early and I hope this lights a fire under everyone’s behinds,” Sarchett said.

The Jacks will make the long trek down to La Jolla, Calif. to play the 17th ranked UC San Diego Tritons on Friday and Saturday. The next home series is March 8 and 9 against Cal State Dominguez Hills.

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