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April 4, 2011

PLU Opens Road Trip With Doubleheader Split

LA VERNE, Calif. - Pacific Lutheran opened up an eight-game Southern California road trip on Monday by splitting a doubleheader with the University of La Verne Leopards at Wheeler Park. La Verne won the opener, 2-1, before the Lutes took a 5-1 victory in the second game.

In the first game, a two-out PLU error opened the door to the hosts, who scored the deciding runs, both unearned, on a bases-loaded pinch hit single with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

The Lutes had taken a 1-0 lead in the third inning when Haley Harshaw reached on a bunt single and eventually scored on Kaely Cuthill's ground out.

Pitchers Stacey Hagensen and Delaney Baylor were outstanding in this game, both allowing only four hits. PLU's Hagensen walked one batter and struck out three in seeing her record fall to 10-3, while Baylor walked one and fanned six while improving to 8-7.

Kaaren Hatlen continued her recent impressive pitching, improving her season record to 6-2 by throwing a complete game in the second contest. She allowed only an unearned run on six hits while walking one and striking out two.

Hatlen played a direct role in three of PLU's runs, including the initial tally in the fourth inning. She hit a single after Hagensen reached on an error, and Hagensen later scored on Glenelle Nitta's sacrifice fly. The Lutes added another run an inning later when Haley Harshaw walked, moved up a base on Ami Gran's sacrifice, and then scored on a base hit by Amanda Goings.

The Lutes finally broke the game open with three runs in the sixth inning. Hagensen led off with a single, stole second, and then came in on Hatlen's double. One out later, Nitta hit a two-run homer, her first of the season.

La Verne's only run was unearned and came in the fifth inning.

PLU finished the second game with nine hits, including three by Goings and two by Hatlen. Nitta drove in three of PLU's runs and Hagensen scored twice.

The Lutes, now 16-8 for the season, play at Cal Lutheran on Tuesday in the second of their four non-conference doubleheaders during spring break.

- PLU -