By Stephen Ramirez
@SteveRRamirez on Twitter
AZUSA — Azusa Pacific University softball coach Carrie Webber scored her 200th victory Saturday as the host Cougars split a
Pacific West Conference with Hawaii-Hilo.
APU, getting a home run and four RBIs from freshman and former Charter Oak High School standout Nicki Sprague, won the opener, 5-2, before the Vulcans jumped out to a 9-0 lead en route to winning the second game, 13-8. The Cougars are now 27-12 overall and 15-9 in the PacWest. Hawaii-Hilo is 18-16 and 11-10.
Webber is 200-140 in her seventh season at APU.
The Cougars, after falling behind 9-0 in the second game, nearly rallied for the sweep. Abry Moreno (South Hills), who had three hits in the second game, and Sona Babayan, who had two hits in the second and four hits in the doubleheader, had RBIs to cut it to 9-4 in the third inning. Madison Hernandez, who had three RBIs in the second game, then had a two-run triple to highlight a four-run fifth that made it 10-8.
APU fell behind 1-0 in the first game, before Sprague gave the Cougars’ a 2-1 lead with a home run to right field in the first inning. She also had a two-run single in the second inning for a 4-1 lead. Pitchers Narissa Garcia and Carly Xepoleas combined on a seven-hitter for the win.
APU coach Carrie Webber: “That was really cool. I wasn’t really in the mindset of my 200th win. But it just goes to show the progress of what this program has accomplished over the last few years, and how we’re becoming a contender in any conference we’ve been in, (Golden State Athletic Conference) and PacWest. All the credit goes to the girls. The girls are the ones who get the wins. I just stand over here and try to look good while they are doing it. It’s exciting, but I just look forward to the next game.”
APU’s Nicki Sprague (on her home run): “I fouled off the pitch before and was upset that I missed my pitch. I got another one and gave it the same swing that I wanted on the first pitch. I was lucky to get that pitch again. You never try to hit those home runs, they just come.”