COSTA MESA, CA. – The Cal State San Marcos softball team started 2016 with a doubleheader sweep of Vanguard, 5-3 and 7-5, on Friday afternoon at VU Field.
Tayler Ybarra went 2-for-3 with an RBI double in game one before junior transfer Amanda Horbasch went 2-for-3 with three RBI and pitched a complete game for her first victory as a Cougar in game two. The Cougars (2-0) turn around to face Cal Baptist tomorrow in a road doubleheader starting at noon.
Game 1 The Cougars took a 2-0 lead in their first half-inning of the season, as Caylyn Rodriguez singled in Holly Fauria before Breanna Stiles scored on a wild throw. The Lions answered back with home runs in the second and third innings to tie the game 2-2. Freshman Amanda Lejano, playing in her first game as a Cougar, laced an RBI single down the right field line before Ybarra knocked her in with a double in the fourth inning to push the CSUSM lead to 4-2. VU made it 4-3, but Ybarra provided some insurance in the fifth with another RBI base hit that drove in Sara Langdon to make it 5-3. The Lions brought the game-winning run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh, but CSUSM starter Ashley Dagenais (1-0) struck out Lindsay Sullivan to end the ball game. Dagenais struck out three and allowed eight hits in her first start of her junior campaign. Lejano was 2-for-3 and Stiles was 2-for-4.
Game 2 The Cougars used a couple of big innings to secure the sweep in a twilight-shortened game two. After the Cougars loaded the bases with two outs in the first inning, Horbasch cracked a bases-clearing double that jolted the Cougars to a 3-0 lead. She took the ball in the circle for CSUSM and appeared shaky in her first frame of work, walking three but allowing only a run in the bottom of the first to the Lions. VU made it 3-2 in the second, but CSUSM used a four-run third inning to take control of the game. Ybarra knocked in Lejano with a single to right field before Lindsay Cerulle brought home Lejano with an infield single. The Cougars added a run when Stiles’ groundball was booted. The inning continued, and Cerulle scored to make it 7-2 on a double-steal with Stiles. Amber Huffman did her best to bring VU back with an RBI in the fourth and an RBI double in the bottom of the sixth. However, the game was called before the seventh inning was able to start and the Cougars walked away with the win. Horbasch (1-0) struck out a pair while allowing five earned runs on five hits.