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Softball - Sat, Mar. 15, 2014

LA MIRADA, Calif. --- It is a good thing Biola got a solid outburst of offense in the first inning of game one, because outside of that the Eagles couldn't do much of anything at the plate in a split doubleheader with Vanguard.

The Eagles strung together three hits of the bottom of the first inning to put up two runs on Rachel Stalford.
 
It seemed as if the Biola offense was going to primed to explode in this game as Stalford looked very shaky throughout the inning. It was a stark contrast to her performance a week ago against No. 1 Concordia where she threw a complete game one-run effort in a win.
 
However, Biola's offense stalled out for most of the rest of the game against Stalford and relied on the work of CeCe Luster and Reba DePriest to keep them in control.
 
Luster looked solid throughout her start, going four solid innings of one-hit ball and keeping Vanguard to just one over the minimum number of batters before DePriest took over for her in the fifth.
 
DePriest was not as solid as she usually is, but still got the job done in her three innings of work. She maintained the 2-0 advantage through the sixth inning, which is when Biola got back-to-back doubles from Heather Hall and Kasey Hormel to reach a 3-0 advantage.
 
The team needed each of those runs as some defensive misplays led to two unearned runs in the top of the seventh before DePriest could shut down the Lions for good to finish off her third save of the season.
 
Luster gets credit for the win to move to 13-3 and Hormel gets the unofficial game-winning RBI, just her second RBI of the season.
 
Game two was a struggle for Biola all game long as the Eagles fall victim to an upset special for Vanguard in the 2-0 loss.
 
It was a pitcher's duel throughout as the Lions got a tremendous start out of their backup starter, Shelby Ross, who moves to 3-0 on the season.
 
Ross went the distance and held Biola to just four hits in the game. She surrendered three walks and fell victim to two errors from her teammates, but successfully battled through the obstacles to get the victory.
 
Biola's issue in the nightcap was an inability to push their base runners home. They left nine runners on base over the first five innings before having absolutely nothing going in the 1-2-3-4-5-6 sixth and seventh innings.
 
Both of Vanguard's runs came in the fourth inning as they got on Luster and DePriest in a big way in a tense inning.
 
The Lions' outburst began with a single, which was compounded by an error that left runners on first and second with nobody out. A walk, strikeout and wild pitch followed and all of a sudden the Lions had their first advantage of the contest.
 
It was all they would need as Biola left its bats in the dugout over the next few innings and suffered its first Golden State Athletic Conference loss of the season.
 
The Eagles fall to 22-4 (5-1 GSAC) and the Lions improve to 18-9 (2-4 GSAC).
 
Biola needs to rebound quickly as they approach the biggest series of the season this Tuesday. The Eagles will face No. 1 Concordia (25-3, 5-1 GSAC) in a matchup that will likely begin to decide the eventual GSAC champion.