Fullerton, CA - On Friday, Hope International celebrated Valentine's Day and playing on a new field with a walk-off win in game 1 and big inning in game 2 against Antelope Valley. Senior Adi Lopez went 3-8 from the lead-off spot with a double and three runs scored.
Senior Liz Gonzalez settled in and retired the next nine batters she faced.
Antelope Valley was in the giving mode in the third inning. A walk by Sophomore Amanda Matthews, singles from Freshman Chelsie Keller and Lopez, and a walk from Senior Michelle Rivas resulted in three Hope International runs thanks to two errors by Antelope Valley. Hope International moved ahead 3-1.
T he Pioneers responded with two runs in the top of the fourth with the help of another Hope International error to tie the score at 3-3.
Two walks for Freshman Corie Apodaca, a single for Senior Lauren Ackerson (who toughed out several smashed balls off her body on the day at third), and a single by Freshman Aryn Campos were left stranded in innings four through six.
Headed to the bottom of the seventh, the score remained tied at 3-3. A Lopez single, another Pioneer error, and walk to Ackerson loaded the bases for Rivas. Rivas promptly fought off a 1-0 pitch and deposited a single into left to drive home Lopez to end the game with the walk-off run.
Gonzalez went the distance and earned her first win of the season while giving up three runs (all unearned).
In the second game, Antelope Valley cashed in a single run in the first and an unearned run in the second against Senior Mea Flores.
Flores allowed base runners in three of the next five innings but slammed the door and held them to just the two runs.
Hope International produced one run in third when Junior Taylor Augino drove home Keller with a sacrifice fly to center to cut their deficit in half.
Then came the sixth inning that saw two of the first three Hope International batters walk to jump start the inning. Matthews deposited a single into shallow right center that the Antelope Valley center fielder ran right by for an error that allowed Rivas and Freshman Jocelyn Young (who had pinch hit) to score and sent Matthews all the way to third. Keller dropped a single into right to plate Matthews. Junior Vanessa Smith laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Keller up to second. Lopez then followed with a double to the left center to score Keller as two misplays in center allowed Lopez to turn on the jets and come all the way around to score herself.
Flores improved to 2-0 on the season with the win.
The Royals will have next to no time to celebrate the wins as they return to the diamond on Saturday at noon with Hope International hosting Menlo at Fullerton College.