Warriors’ softball splits with Hope International
LA MIRADA – William Jessup University softball traveled south last weekend to face off against No. 20 Hope International University, splitting with the nationally-ranked program.
The Warriors advanced to 20-10 and 3-2 in the Golden State Athletic Conference and has received votes in the national polling.
Jena Ovens and Stephanie Scott got things started with back-to-back doubles in the top of the third inning. Ovens scored on Scott’s RBI hit to give Jessup the early 1-0 lead.
Scott advanced to third base on Abbie Lewis’ single and Lewis later stole second. With runners in scoring position, Shelbi Graifman's base hit to center field brought home both Scott and Lewis for a 3-0 Warriors’ lead.
The Royals battled back to tie the game in the bottom half of the sixth inning and eventually force the game into extra innings. Hope got the final edge in the bottom of the eighth to win the game at 4-3.
It was another exceptional performance from senior ace, Graifman, as she struck out nine batters and improved to 16-7 on the season. Currently, Graifman leads the nation in strikeouts with 136.
Jessup hit their offensive stride in the top of the third, with Scott starting the inning off with a single to right field. She then stole second and advanced to third base on a fielder’s choice, allowing Lewis to reach base.
In true two-out rally fashion, Natalie Basaldua stepped up and homered over the left-field fence to bring home Scott and Lewis and her for a 3-0 lead.
Hope rallied in the bottom of the fourth frame for two runs, but Jessup held them for the rest of the game to secure a 3-2 victory.
Graifman led from the circle, collecting 12 strikeouts and only allowing one hit throughout seven innings.
The Warriors continue their conference play against familiar rival Menlo College Tuesday in Atherton. The doubleheader will begin at 1 pm.
William Jessup will return to action at Azevedo Park in Rocklin April 6-7, playing back-to-back doubleheaders against Arizona Christian University and HIU.