Marina Esparza’s shutout caps off softball’s sweep against Lincoln


Pitcher Marina Esparza, No. 10, delivers a pitch in the Lions’ 9-1 loss to Washburn on March 25 in St. Charles.
Photo by Kyle Rhine

KYLE RHINE | Reporter

The Lindenwood softball team swept Thursday’s series against conference opponent Lincoln University in St. Charles. The Lions took the first game 12-4 and shut out Lincoln 7-0 in game two.

After the Lions scored the first run of the game in the first inning, Lindenwood added two more runs in the second inning on RBI singles from Keri Sheehan and Austine Pauley.

Lincoln came back with a run in the third inning scoring off a throwing error by third baseman Hannah Johnson to cut Lindenwood’s lead to two.

Lindenwood responded with two runs in the fourth inning on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Adele Linderman, scoring Johnson. Sheehan notched her second hit of the game with a single to right field, and a throwing error by the right fielder allowed Ceairra Perez-Lane to score.

In the fifth inning, Lincoln cut the Lions’ lead to one with back-to-back extra base hits scoring two runs. Lindenwood put the game out of reach in the bottom half of the inning as six Lions came around to score. Sam Dean drove in the first two runs with a single up the middle scoring Johnson and Caitlyn Touchette. Lions pitcher Stormee Galka delivered with a single up the middle driving in a pair of Lions. Lindenwood led 11-4 after five innings.

Lindenwood added one more run in the sixth inning on an infield single from Sheehan, scoring Linderman. For Sheehan, she had herself a day at the plate going 4-4 scoring two runs and two RBIs.

The Lions took game one 12-4 and pitcher Marina Esparza kept the momentum going for Lindenwood in game two.

Lindenwood jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the third inning started with Megan Clark’s bunt single driving in Sheehan. Galka followed with a double to center field, driving in Pauley. Johnson had the big hit of the inning on a double to second base scoring a pair of runs. The Lions tacked on one more run in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Touchette to make it 7-0.

For Esparza, that was all the run support she would need as she dominated the game. Esparza notched a complete game shutout allowing just four hits and one walk and struck out three batters.

Following the series sweep, the Lions are back to .500 with a record of 18-18 and will play their next series against McKendree University on April 10 in St. Charles. Game one is scheduled for 4 p.m. and game two will start at 6 p.m. at the Lou Brock Sports Complex.