REDDING, Calif. – The Eagle women’s softball team made their mark in NU athletic history when they opened their first season at the Simpson Invitational in northern California last weekend. And, they did it playing six games in two days. The team dropped all six games, but the competition in the tournament was top level and Coach John Bacon has all freshmen, one sophomore and one junior on the youthful team, so expect improvement as the season moves along.
Day One: The team opened their season on Friday morning against a good William Jessup team from the Cal Pac Conference. The long ball hurt them as Jessup hit three home runs leading to a 12-0 defeat for the Eagles. Sandra Cleveland went 2 for 3 and Ashley Curtis batted 1 for 2 for NU. Game 2: NU played another play-off experienced team in tourney host, Simpson, in their second game of the day. Simpson bested the Eagles 8-2, but Vanessa Ahrendt scored the first run in history for the Eagles. NU out hit Simpson 13-12, hitting .400 as a team. Game 3: Our sister school, Vanguard from Southern California was NU’s third opponent of the day. They are out of the strong NAIA Division I GSAC Conference. Vanguard came out strong scoring 6 runs in the first and 4 runs in the second and that would all they need as they defeated the young Eagles, 10-1 in five innings. Ashley Curtis went 2 for 2 in the contest.
Following the William Jessup opener, Coach John Bacon stated, “We opened up on season against a very strong Jessup line up. Our defense was strong and we battled at the plate, but weren’t able to hold off their bats.”
Day Two: Menlo College of California was the first opponent for NU on Saturday morning at 11:30 a.m. Menlo score five runs in the first inning and five in the 5th as they dropped NU, 13-4. NU pounded out 9 hits and scored 4 runs with three players going 2 for 3 for the game. Game 2: The Eagles had to come right back and take on the University of British Columbia, a school with a student body of approximately 40,000 plus. The second and 5th innings were the downfall of NU as UBC rang up 11 runs. UBS pitcher Nicole Day held NU to 3 hits. Final: UBC 12, NU 0. Game 3: It didn’t get any easier for the Eagles as they faced the No. 5 ranked Concordia Eagles from Irvine, Calif., in their final game of the tournament. NU fell 8-0 in five innings, but held the NAIA Division I Eagles to 8 hits.
Said John Bacon, Eagle head coach after the Concordia game: “We were very happy with our performance against a strong ranked team. We held them scoreless through several innings and had a few chances to push some across the plate. In the end, their experience was what won the day. However, we learned some very valuable lessons that will help us improve and move forward as a program.”
For the record books: Kelli Peckham was the first Eagle to throw a pitch as she started against Jessup, Sandra Cleveland got the first hit for the program, Ricki Tacdol hit the first home run and Vanessa Ahrendt scored the very first run for the inaugural season! The team is young and comprised of all freshman with only one sophomore and one junior, so the future is bright.
Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2013 Share on Facebook