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Going Solo: Two Home Runs Lift Nighthawks Past Wildcats
Ivy Hommel's solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning proved to be the game-winner fior the Nighthawks. Photo by Cayden Jones/CUI Athletics.
Ivy Hommel's solo home run in the bottom of the sixth inning proved to be the game-winner fior the Nighthawks. Photo by Cayden Jones/CUI Athletics.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

IRVINE, Calif. – How do you break open a pitcher’s duel? With two solo home runs.

Senior Brittany Genuardi hit a solo home run to leadoff the bottom of the fourth and junior Ivy Hommel led off the sixth with a solo home run to lead No. 3 seeded Northwest Nazarene to a 2-1 win over No. 6 seed and GNAC rival Central Washington in game two of the NCAA West Region Softball Championships at Eagles Field on the campus of Concordia Irvine.

The two homers were enough to back up another solid performance by freshman Sidney Booth, who allowed one run on seven hits with seven strikeouts to improve to 16-3 on the season.

Despite not having played since May 2, Central Washington (17-16) had little signs of rust in the loss. Junior Samantha Stanfield allowed two runs on six hits with a walk and a strikeout in falling to 6-5 on the season.

With the win, the Nighthawks (31-12) will face No. 2 seeded Biola in the Eagles’ first game of the tournament on Friday at 2:30 p.m. With the loss, Central Washington will face Western Washington in an elimination game that will start at 5:30 p.m.

Despite both teams playing in the GNAC, this was the first meeting between the Nighthawks and Wildcats this season. The teams’ scheduled four-game series in April was canceled due to health and safety protocols.

Booth allowed only one runner in the first three innings, that coming on a hit batter with two outs in the top of the first. Senior Theresa Moyle broke up the no-hit bid in the top of the fourth, tripling down the right-field line and scoring on a single by senior Maddy Zerr.

After putting the leadoff runner on base in both the first and second innings, Genuardi evened the score for the Nighthawks in the bottom of the fourth, hammering her sixth home run to straightaway center field.

The Wildcats threatened to go ahead in the top of the sixth. Sophomore Allie Thiessen led off with an infield single and advanced to second on sophomore Harlee Carpenter’s bunt single. Booth proceeded to coax the next three batters into fly-outs to leave the runners stranded.

Hommel wasted no time putting the Nighthawks ahead in the bottom of the sixth, knocking her 10th home run of the season over the left center-field fence for what proved to be the game-winning hit.

Hommel and Genuardi each went 2 for 3 to lead Northwest Nazarene offensively. Four Central Washington batters had one hit apiece.

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