LA MIRADA, Calif. --- The No. 8 Cougars of Cal State San Marcos entered play on Saturday as a team with a .363 batting average. The Cougars managed to scrape out just six hits over 14 innings in a doubleheader split at Freedom Field.
CeCe Luster and Reba DePriest were dominant once again, combining to keep the Cougars' high-powered offense looking off balance all afternoon long in two very close ballgames.
DePriest was especially strong today, as she was simply blowing through any San Marcos batter who stepped into the box. She struck out 12 Cougars in her 8.2 innings of work, and allowed just one hit as she picked up her fifth win of the season in game two.
The Cougars took the early game, 3-2, while the Eagles earned the upset win in the 3-1 nightcap.
"The goal coming out here today was to pull out at least one," said Head Coach Lorie Coleman. "We were mentally ready and stuck with our plan. It ended up successful."
Just fighting their way to two very competitive contests was a huge step forward for Biola, who got swept in the three-game season series last season. The Cougars outscored the Eagles 20-2 over those three games and got two eight-run rule victories.
Luster and DePriest made sure that would not be the story this season, throwing fire through the Cougars' bats.
Game one could have gone either way, as two of the Cougars' runs were scored unearned in the top of the second inning. Those two runs would be all the Cougars needed, as neither team got a hit after the end of the first inning.
Katie Wilkinson threw the entire game for San Marcos, earning her seventh win of the young season.
Game two was another tight one throughout. San Marcos was able to string three hits together in the second inning to notch a run against Luster and take a 1-0 lead that held until the very late innings.
The bottom of the fifth felt from the outset that it would be a good one for the Eagles. Bria Madrid led off with a double, her second of the season, and then Biola benefitted from a Cougars error as Celina Thornton reached and Madrid moved to third base.
A walk loaded the bases before the Eagles hit two weak fielder's choice dribblers that made the situation very intense as Ashley Spadt stepped to the plate with two outs. Spadt muscled up to get her second double of the year as she knocked in her fourth and fifth RBI of the season.
The Eagles extended to a 3-1 advantage after a Wilkinson wild pitch.
"We are still working on our offensive game. We have to continue to put pressure on the defense and work harder in that area," said Coleman. "As long as our defense stays calm and we continue to have solid pitching we will be hard to beat."
All that was left for San Marcos was the top of the sixth and seventh innings, where they had the daunting task of facing DePriest yet again. She hurled her way to two strikeouts, three outs in the air and a ground out as she ended the game.
The win moves the Eagles to 10-3 on the season and drops the Cougars to 11-3. San Marcos's only other losses came to No. 1 Concordia.
The Eagles get back to the diamond on Tuesday at 1 p.m. for a doubleheader against the University of Antelope Valley Pioneers (0-8).