IRVINE, Calif. – Hannah Romanksi hit a solo homer in the sixth and a walk-off grand slam in the seventh for her second homerun in the game to edge the Hawks over Arizona Christian 6-5 in their first ever GSAC Tournament game Thursday.
San Diego Christian scored six unanswered runs as they were facing a 5-0 deficit heading into the bottom of sixth inning.
"I'm super proud," Head Coach Cheryl Schaefer said about the grit her team has. "They have so much fight and heart and never give up."
Romanski hit the solo shot on the first pitch she saw in the sixth to give the Hawks their first run of the game. It was also her first hit in the game, popping out the two previous at bats.
After a quick 1-2-3 top of the seventh inning, the Hawks started their comeback.
Paige Nicollet was bit by a pitch to start off the seventh before she was retired by a fielder's choice from Ariel Rasmusson for the first out. Tiffany Fox then followed with a walk to give San Diego Christian runners on first and second. Morgan McGee delivered the Hawks' second run, first of the inning, with a single through the left side. Then Josie Tucker singled to short to load the bases for Romanski. She hit her second homer of the game on a 2-0 pitch down the left field line to give San Diego Christian the victory and a date with No. 13 Biola in the second round.
"She's been phenomenal this season," coach Schaefer said about Romanski. "She is an RBI machine. Hannah is clutch on RBI opportunities with productive outs. If there are runners on base, she finds a way to get them home."
Romanksi finished going 2-for-4 with the two homers and 5 RBI. She leads the team with 31 RBI and five home runs.
Heading into the seventh, coach Schaefer saw the positive spirit in the team and knew they would get the job done.
"They were fired up and knew what they had to do and they wanted to win," coach Schaefer said. "Their cheer at the end was simply "win" and they get the job done. I told them in the sixth inning, we don't have to get all the runs back now, just some. They were hitting line drives and hitting the ball hard all game. Things weren't going our way as we tried to manufacture runs. The hit balls would go right to somebody."
Nicollet earned her first win of the season relieving starter Josie Tucker for 1.1 innings. She faced the minimum of batters, retiring all four she faced. Tucker threw 5.2 innings allowing five runs, nine hits while striking out five.
The Hawks will take on the Eagles of Biola tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. Biola leads the season series 3-1 but the last pair of games have been close and competitive, just what coach Schaefer is expecting.
"They have some tough pitching. We have been working on hitting and we need to adjust to their pitching, coach Schaefer said. "Every time we play a team again, we want to be better than the last time we played them. We need to be aggressive in the count, limit walks and keep the ball in the infield."
The winner of this game will advance to play Concordia University later in the day at 4:15 p.m. The loser will play against the winner of Vanguard and Hope International at 2 p.m.