Sonoma State pitcher shuts down SF State softball at home

Samantha Lipperd

Sonoma State starting pitcher Samantha Lipperd (7) throws the softball against the SF State Gators in the third inning of the second game during the double header at San Francisco, Friday, April 20, 2012. Sonoma State won both game by scores of 3-0 and 5-0. Lipperd pitched both games, 14 innings, allowing eight hits and no runs, while compiling 28 strikeouts against the Gators. Photo by Godofredo Vasquez.

Sonoma State’s starting pitcher Samantha Lipperd dominated SF State’s softball team earlier today by keeping the Gators scoreless in back to back games.

Coming into the matchup, Lipperd was leading all three divisions in the NCAA for strikeouts. After a total of  28 strikeouts in both games against the Gators her grand total is now 360 strike out for the season and 826 for her career.

“Lipperd is probably the best pitcher in the conference and probably the best Division II pitcher in the country right now,” said Cristina Byrne, Gator softball head coach. “She’s solid. Not only does she have great movement, but she hits her spots and that’s key. She doesn’t miss her spots often.”

The Gators put up a good fight, but critical errors in game one lead to two early runs for the Seawolves by the third inning. Lipperd dominated early and often, as the Gators failed to put any runs together and chance of vistory slipped away.

“I definitely saw the difference in the two teams,” Byrne said. “We played very uninspired today, we came out and we were worried about her and we let her get in our head and it effected the way we played.”

Even though the Gators had trouble scoring it was the solid pitching of Marisa Ibarra that kept the Gators in the game. She managed to strike out nine batters, but without help from the offense they were routed by the Seawolves. SF State managed to let only three hits off as they lost to the Seawolves 0-3.

“(Lipperd) was really good at hitting her spots and just effective at getting us out; it was a struggle,” Kelsey Murakami said. “She had a lot of movement I wanted to try and take that away.”

To the Gators’ dismay, Lipperd came back even stronger in game two while her teammates pilled on the runs. She struck out 17 batters and by the fifth inning the Seawolves were up by five. The Gators allowed 15 hits in the final game, while mustering up only five of their own to bring the final score of 0-5.

“I think for us if we jump on her early than we have no problem scoring runs. But when we wait and we don’t show up in the fifth inning that’s going to kill us,” said Gator freshman Courtney Gravel.

The Gators (17-33) will be looking for revenge tomorrow as they face off against the Seawolves (33-17) in another double header to end the season.

“I think it’s a matter of getting them out of their head mentally and trusting their physical talent…hopefully they can build off that and get the moment going for us,” Byrne said about the upcoming double header.

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