IRVINE, Calif. – Vanguard's ace hurler, Rachel Stalford, shutout the Royals on Thursday morning in Golden State Athletic Conference softball tournament action. The fourth-seeded Lions, led by five players with two hits apiece, posted a decisive 7-0 victory to advance in the winner's bracket where Vanguard will face No. 1 seed Concordia at 4:15 pm today.
Stalford, the GSAC Pitcher of the Week and a recent All-GSAC selection, improves to 17-5 with the complete game success. She gave up just four hits in the contest and struck out five to bring her season total to 110 K.
The Pride jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second but unloaded six runs on the Royals over the course of the fifth and sixth frames to extend the margin to seven.
All-GSAC first baseman Brittney Boggs started the rally with a double to center and was soon brought home as fellow All-League selection Shelby Kuryllo sent a ball flying over the fence to put the Lions up 3-0. Haley Croce came up next and promptly matched the feat, going solo yard to left center to pad the Blue and Gold's lead.
In the sixth, second baseman Summer Penner led off with a single, but was put out on a fielder's choice by yet another All-GSAC recipient, Taylor Hallahan.
Taylor Wilson managed a base knock to push Hallahan to second, and with two on All-GSAC catcher Breanne Gomez cranked another softball over the wall to bring three more runs across home plate for Vanguard.
Wilson, Boggs, Gomez, Croce and Penner all notched two hits in the competition to account for 10 of the Lions' 12 total knocks.
Boggs and Brittany Colenzo also hit doubles in the game for The Pride.
No. 5-seed Hope International falls to 15-32 overall and drops into the losers bracket where it will take on the loser of Arizona Christian and San Diego Christian on Thursday at 2:00 pm.
The Blue and Gold move to 33-20 on the season with the win.