REDDING, Calif. -- Biola began its trip at the dripping-wet Simpson University Tournament with a 1-0 win over No. 13 College of Idaho.
The Eagles rode arms of their two aces to a shutout, while getting their offensive spark from an unexpected source, Sarah Stromwall. The junior shortstop provided all of the offense the Eagles would need as she jacked a big fly in the fifth inning. She was Biola's leadoff hitter in its half of the frame, and teed off against the Yotes' pitcher on her first offering of the inning.
Ashley Spadt had yet another big game, going 3-3 to bump her team-high season hit total to 10.
Biola needed just that big jack, because CeCe Luster and Reba DePriest again combined for a fantastic seven innings of work. Luster allowed just one hit over her four innings and neutralized a Yotes offense, which was in its first contest of the season.
"We were waiting for this game to see where we matched up," said Head Coach Lorie Coleman. "It helped us see if we were as good as we think we are. After this win, I feel we definitely belong in the top 25."
Luster and DePriest were able to work their way out of a few sticky situations throughout the game in order to preserve the shutout. The Eagles' defense had a difficult time dealing with the wet conditions, posting three errors on the morning, all three on balls that slipped out of the fielders' hands in the transfer.
"Everytime we went out into the field it started to pour," said Coleman.
Despite the difficult conditions, DePriest was able to dial it up to get Biola out of its most stressful situation of the game in the top of the seventh inning.
As the rain came pouring down, DePriest walked the leadoff batter and then gave up a hit to give the Yotes runners on first and third-base. She got one out and then picked up the last two of her six Ks to end the game and get Biola its fifth consecutive win to start the season.
It is Biola's first time reaching a 5-0 record to begin the year since they started 6-0 in 2007. They have a chance to even that tomorrow as they resume play at the restructured Simpson Tournament. Many of the teams have left, or never made it down in the first place, due to the weather, leading to the cancellation of Friday's afternoon games.