COSTA MESA, Calif. – Vanguard played an unusual away doubleheader against Hope International on the VU Softball Field Saturday afternoon, but despite the quirks that playing away at home presented, the advantage appeared to go to the Lions, who swept the affair by finals of 2-1 and 2-1.
The Lions scored in the second frame to put the first run of the day on the scoreboard. Shelby Kuryllo (JR/Corona, CA) led off with a double to center and Summer Penner (FR/Anaheim, CA) brought her home with a base knock through the right side of the field.
Vanguard starter Rachel Stalford (JR/San Diego, CA) did her job on the hill, holding the Royals at zero until the fifth when the Blue and Gold offense gave her a little padding to work with as it posted another run by way of an RBI single up the middle from lefty Taylor Wilson (FR/Modesto, CA). Wilson's hit brought in Taylor Hallahan (JR/Santee, CA), who singled to left and stole second to set up the score.
Brittney Boggs (JR/Lakewood, CA) and Breanne Gomez (JR/Santa Ana, CA) also recorded hits in the fifth frame for the Lions, but Vanguard left three on base as the inning came to a close.
In the sixth, Hope International responded with a run to slice the margin to one at 2-1. It looked as though HIU would tie the contest with a sacrifice fly, but the runner was held at third by Wilson in left field.
Stalford (14-6) closed the seventh strong, despite a small scare with two outs to secure the win for Vanguard.
Boggs' two knocks in the opener led the Lions.
Vanguard's Emily Russell (FR/Calabasas, CA) got the start in game two and led The Pride to the nightcap victory after seven innings of work.
Vanguard scored the deciding runs in the third off of two hits and two errors. Penner led off the frame with a single up the middle and Boggs brought her in with a double to left after Wilson reached on a fielding mishap. With Wilson and Boggs on, Gomez took base via another error and Wilson was able to cross home on the play.
Hope International posted its final run of the day in the sixth, but could do no more as Russell and the Lions' defense got out of the frame with the 2-1 lead intact.
Russell struck out two Royals and moves to 2-1 overall with the win.
The Pride's final GSAC doubleheader of the season versus Arizona Christian (home, 2:00pm) is April 15. Vanguard will host Azusa Pacific the following day, also at 2:00 pm.