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Softball - Thu, Mar. 20, 2014

LA MIRADA, Calif. -- The Eagles got right back into the swing of its season with a doubleheader sweep of Hope International on Thursday afternoon.

The Eagles' offense was off-kilter throughout the first contest, putting just two runs on the board, but that was all they would need as CeCe Luster went the distance and handled the Hope International bats.
 
Biola got a 2-1 win after a Luster big fly in the bottom of the fifth broke a 1-1 tie. Luster finished just her second game of the season and improved to 14-6 after holding the Royals to seven hits and just the lone score in the fourth.
 
The second game saw the Eagles offense get closer to the form it had to begin the season, one which averaged more than five and a half runs per game until the start of the Vanguard series last week.
 
The game began as a duel between spot starter, Shelby Jacobsen, and the Royals' Kayla Klein. The two pitchers held the lineups scoreless in the first frame, and then at the first sign of trouble Head Coach Lorie Coleman inserted Reba DePriest in the second.
 
The junior was flat-out dominant in her resulting six innings pitched. She held the Royals to one hit and struck out four in an efficient walk-free performance.
 
Her dominance opened the door for the Eagles' offense to break out in a pressure-free situation.
 
Biola picked up its first multi-run inning in five games when they tacked on three runs in third inning. The inning began with a Mackenzie Magro single. She advanced on a signature Biola sacrifice bunt, and then, following an intentional unintentional walk to Luster, moved to third base as Celina Thornton singled to load the bases.
 
Bria Madrid scored a run by reaching on a fielder's choice and then scored herself after stealing a base and getting knocked in by Ashley Spadt. It was textbook run manufacturing that resulted in a 3-0 Biola lead.
 
The Eagles continued their scoring with a run in each of the next two innings and eventually settled with the 5-0 win. DePriest picked up the 'W' to improve to 10-0 on the season.
 
Biola improved to 24-6 (7-3 GSAC) and Hope International dropped to 10-16 (2-8 GSAC).
 
Biola gets back on the diamond this weekend with another trip to Arizona. The Eagles face Arizona Christian, a team they already swept in a doubleheader in early-March.