SANTEE, Calif. – Monday started off a new era in San Diego Christian Softball.
Not only was it the first games in program history, the Hawks were able to win the first two games ever played and do it in come from behind fashion.
SDC scored a run in the bottom of the eighth in Game 1 to win 6-5 in extra innings and scored 12 unanswered runs to take Game 2 12-5 against Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Ariz.)
"I was very pleased to win our first double header in program history," Head Coach Cheryl Schaefer said. "This was a day I have been looking forward to. As a team we have been preparing for it, and I was glad they were able to get positive results for all their hard work and commitment. I feel very blessed."
Many students and faculty member were in attendance in the inaugural softball games as Vice President Dave Maddox tossed the first pitch to kick off the season.
Josie Tucker went eight innings on the mound to become the first Hawk pitcher to grab a win. In the eight innings she allowed 10 hits allowing five runs while striking out four.
The Hawks were the first to score as they scored a pair in the bottom of the third. With two outs, Tiffany Fox drew a walk and later scored by a double from Morgan Mcgee to put SDC up 1-0. McGee then scored a batter later as Krystal Hoham singled to right field.
The Eagles answered with three runs in the top of the fourth off of three Embry-Riddle hits. But the Hawks responded quickly with three runs a half inning later.
Tucker singled to start off the inning and was batted in by Savanna Baggett's single up the middle. Fox brought Baggett home with a sac fly to give the Hawks a 4-3 lead.
Embry-Riddle came through in the seventh as their back was against the wall facing defeat in Game 1. The Eagles scored two runs to retake the lead and force SDC to score in the bottom of the inning or face defeat in the first game.
Trailing 5-4 and with two outs, Hannah Romanski reached on an error by the third baseman then stole second base to give SDC a runner in scoring position. Tucker came through with a double to left field to tie the game at 5-5.
The Hawks later won the game on a walk-off hit from Morgan Wheeler to give SDC the victory.
Tucker finished Game 1 going 3-for-4 with a run and RBI. Autumne Gallegos went-2-for-3 as the Hawks tallied nine hits.
Game 2 was not as close but the Hawks still needed to make a big comeback to overcome the early hole they dug themselves in the first inning.
The Eagles scored five runs on two hits as the Hawks helped their cause committing two errors in the inning. SDC looked to get back in the swing of things in the bottom of the first scoring two runs to decrease the Eagles lead to 5-2.
"After the first inning of the second game, I felt we weren't awake and we were not loud on defense," Coach Schaefer said about the early deficit. "There was a lack in communication, focus and urgency. So once we got the third out, I made them run a little bit to wake them up and shake it off and re-focus. I also challenged them to be the spark plug and get us on fire. I told them I had confidence in our hitters and I knew we could hit ourselves back into this game."
And hit themselves back in the game they did.
SDC tallied two more runs in the bottom of the third on three this to get the game a more manageable deficit at 5-4 in favor of Embry-Riddle. A quick 1-2-3 inning from starting pitcher Kendra Kuper brought the Hawks back up in the bottom of the fourth as they eventually took the lead for good.
McGee doubled down the left field line that scored Fox and Gallegos. Hoham was next and drove in McGee for a 7-5 lead.
The Hawks scored five more runs in the fifth to all but seal the victory and sweep.
Kuper went the distance as she allowed 10 hits and the five runs, only three earned. She struck out one and allowed three walks.
SDC pounded out 17 hits en route to the 12 runs. Tucker led the Hawks with four as McGee, Gallegos, and Romanski tallied three each.
"I thought my team fought and played hard the entire game, ALL 15 innings," Coach Schaefer said. "They never let down, never gave up, just kept staying positive and knew they had what it took to win, no matter what, it showed a lot of heart and courage. I thought we hit and ran the bases well today. I think we do have some things to work on as far as shutting the other team down and not giving up free bases."
The Hawks have 11 days off before the next set of games as they host Lindenwood-Belleville University Feb. 28 with first pitch starting at noon.