BRISBANE – Jumping out to leads proved to be beneficial for Humboldt State to sweep Academy of Art on the softball diamond Wednesday afternoon.
The Lumberjacks opened a 10-0 lead behind Alison McKibbon’s grand slam to power past the Urban Knights 11-3 in the opener. In the late game, HSU plated single runs in the first, third and fifth to complete the pair of wins by a 3-2 final.
The two Jacks (4-0) wins give the No. 4-ranked team two twinbill sweeps in as many days to open the season.
“It was nice to open to way heading into the Vegas tournament,” said HSU coach Shelli Sarchett.
HSU will move up in competition ranks this weekend. The Jacks will play in the three-day Desert Stinger Tournament held in Las Vegas. On Friday, the team will open with a 2 p.m. contest against Hawaii-Hilo and a 7 p.m. game against Montana State Billings to open their five-game weekend.
Darian Harris, Sarah Fox and Andrea Chavez lined three hits apiece to lead the 18-hit HSU offense. Chavez hit a pair of doubles and Harris one two-base hit to highlight the trio’s six hits.
McKibbon belted a grand slam and scored twice in game one and Hannah Williams hit her first homer, a solo shot, in game two.
Tiffany Hollingsworth rounded out the extra base hits with a double, while Tonya Walker had two singles and two stolen bases.
In the first contest, HSU went ahead, 3-0, after three innings. Miranda Romero drew a bases loaded walk in the second, before Hollingsworth’s double and Fox’s single plated a pair in the third.
McKibbon broke open the contest with a grand slam homer in the fourth as part of a seven-run HSU outburst.
“We jumped on top. It’s always nice to score early. It also gave me a chance to play a lot of players in a game like that,” noted Sarchett. “McKibbon had the big grand slam and hit the ball hard. I have been waiting for her to pop one and drive it.”
Katie Obbema had all the run support she needed to get her second complete game win. The sophomore gave up six hits and three earned runs with three strikeouts.
“Katie threw well and overcame some tough conditions with the field the way it was. She struggled but came away with the win,” said the HSU coach.
Leading 1-0 after an unearned run in the top of the first, HSU saw its power emerge with Hannah Williams connecting for a solo round-tripper. Fox made the game 3-0 on her second RBI hit with a single in the fifth frame.
Madison Williams gave up a pair of home seventh runs, but fanned the final Urban Knights (0-2) batter to end the game. Madison moves to 2-0 and recorded her first collegiate complete game. She scattered five hits, two earned runs and walked only one.
“In the second game, we struggled to stay back on the pitcher as we were overly anxious. Hannah finally broke open with a home run. We hit the ball well on the day,” added Sarchett. “It was nice to see Maddie pitch well and get the complete game win too.”