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Softball - Sat, Feb. 15, 2014

COSTA MESA, Calif. – Vanguard (RV) scratched and clawed back from a 5-1 deficit in Friday's nightcap to complete its sweep of Holy Names University with a 6-5 win after taking the opener 7-0. The Lions have won four straight and improve to 8-2 on the season. Junior Haley Croce (San Diego, Calif.) notched 3 big hits, 4 RBIs and 2 runs scored on the day for The Pride.

Junior center fielder Taylor Hallahan (Santee, Calif.) made the most of her first two appearances at the plate, leading off the first with a single and roping a 2 RBI double in the second.

In the opening frame, Hallahan stole second and brought the score to 1-0 when she ran home on a Lindsey Sullivan (Yucca Valley, Calif.) groundout. Junior Brittney Boggs (Lakewood, Calif.) also registered a hit in the inning.

The second saw Vanguard tack on six more runs off of four knocks and three Holy Names' errors. Third-year Gabrielle Jackson (Huntington Beach, Calif.) got the Blue and Gold started with a single, which was followed by a fielder's choice from newcomer Jo Karla Jimenez (Brawley, Calif.). Hallahan's double came next and brought the base-runners in to change the scoreboard to 3-0 and Sullivan and Croce garnered the Lions' remaining hits and RBIs to stretch the margin 7-0.

Junior Rachel Stalford (San Diego, Calif.) was excellent on the mound for The Pride, striking out eight in five innings en route to her third win (3-0) of the season.

Sophomore Alexandra Olvera (Gilroy, Calif.) took over in the sixth and aided Stalford in securing the combined shut-out victory.

Hallahan went 3-for-3 in the opener with two runs scored and 2 RBIs.

Holy Names scored the nightcap's first run in the second but Vanguard tied the slate in the third after Croce cranked a homerun over the wall in left field.

The Hawks posted a run in the fifth and three in the sixth to take a 5-1 lead late in the nightcap but Vanguard completed the unlikely five-run come-from-behind inning to secure its eighth win of the year.

Freshman Taylor Wilson (Modesto, Calif.) led off the sixth frame with a single but was taken out on a fielder's choice during Boggs' at-bat. With an out on the board, junior Breanne Gomez (Santa Ana, Calif.) ripped a double to right center to score Boggs, narrowing the margin to 5-2. Third-year Shelby Kuryllo (Corona, Calif.) walked next to put two on base for Jimenez, who popped up to bring Holy Names within an out of ending the frame.

Croce, however, had other plans as she tallied a 2 RBI extra base knock to left to put Vanguard within striking distance. Jackson drew a walk and pushed Croce over for freshman Summer Penner (Anaheim, Calif.) who handled the pressure like a pro as she put the ball in play and came up with a single. The single caused chaos for the Holy Names field staff, resulting in a throwing error which allowed the smart Croce to score the tying run.

Refusing to quit with two outs on the board, Hallahan came up with her fourth base knock of the day to load the bags for Wilson. Wilson, who led off the frame with a hit, simply repeated her earlier feat to bring in Jackson and the game-winning RBI.

Shelby Ross (Hughson, Calif.) was credited with the victory for Vanguard and moves to 1-0 in her junior campaign.

Vanguard is back in action at noon on Saturday versus Embry-Riddle (Ariz.).