Fullerton, CA- Hope International allowed runs early in game one but answered back with a big inning and a no hitter in the second game to sweep Arizona Christian 7-3 and 1-0 on Tuesday. Freshman Corie Apodaca homered and Junior Kayla Klein threw the complete game one hitter.
Game one started with the Firestorm (8-22, 1-14 GSAC) capitalizing on a walk and error by HIU with single from Chelle Orr to cash in both runners for a 2-0 lead.
In the second inning, ACU tacked on another run thanks in large part to a single, another HIU error, and groundout to build a 3-0 edge.
The Firestorm would threaten in three of the final five innings but would only get a runner past second once in those innings.
Offensively, the Royals (14-20, 4-10 GSAC) had their chances in their first three innings but left five on base.
Finally in the fourth, HIU broke through. Senior Michelle Rivas doubled just inside the right field line. Two batters later, Junior Taylor Augino singled. A throwing error then allowed Rivas to score to make it 3-1.
Then came the fifth inning which saw HIU break through for five runs as they showed off their patience. Beginning with Senior Adi Lopez, the Royals started the inning with five consecutive singles. With the majority of the singles staying on the infield, the Hope International runners just moved up one base at a time. RBI singles from Apodaca and Rivas tied the score at 3-3. Following an out, Augino and Junior Vanessa Smith produced back-to-back RBI singles before a groundout from Freshman Aryn Campos drove home the final run of the inning. HIU built a 6-3 advantage.
In the sixth, Apodaca added an insurance run when she connected for her third home run of the season with a shot to left.
Senior Liz Gonzalez started the game and threw the first five innings for the win to improve to 6-9. Senior Mea Flores came in with the score 6-3 and pitched the final two innings for her first save of the year.
In the second game, the Royals only managed three hits and one run themselves- back-to-back doubles from Freshman Chelsie Keller and Rivas accounted for the only run against ACU's Destinee Spencer.
But that turned out to be all the run support Klein would need as she retired the first 12 batters she faced.
Her only hit allowed came in the form of triple by Brittany Vanderdrink to lead off the fourth. The defense of the Royals showed up in a big way to help Klein escape the jam. A fielder's choice retired Vanderdrink in a run down along the third base line. Patricia Porter advanced to second on the rundown. Then the Royals caught Porter leaning on a chopper to third and HIU executed their second perfect run down in as many outs to retire Porter.
Klein recorded a strikeout to finish the escape work of a runner at third and nobody out. She retired the final six batters of the game from there as she completed the one hit no walks allowed complete game facing just one batter over the minimum.
The win improved Klein to 5-5 on the year.
Head Coach Aimee Rosa stated after the two HIU wins, "As a team, this was a step in the right direction. We (recently) set personal goals as a team and sweeping Arizona Christian was the first step."
The Royals are hoping to face future GSAC foe William Jessup on Wednesday at 2:00 pm but rain may play a factor in canceling the games. Arizona Christian is not scheduled to play again until Saturday when they face Concordia in Irvine at 12:00 pm.