By Brett Campfield, Cal State San Marcos Assistant Sports Information Director
FULLERTON, Calif.— The Cal State San Marcos softball team spilt a doubleheader at Hope International Saturday, falling 4-2 in the opening game but fired on all cylinders in the bottom half of the doubleheader, winning 15-0 to clinch Coach Dave Williams' 700th career victory. Williams, with a career record of 700-208 (.771) at both Point Loma and CSUSM, is the fourth active coach to reach the milestone, and has the second best winning percentage among all active coaches.
Things looked promising for the second ranked Cougars in the first game when third baseman Melyssa Bellamy clubbed an RBI double to right center field in the second inning to give CSUSM an early 1-0 edge.
However, the Royals got to Cougar ace Cortney Allen in the third inning with a two-run blast by pitcher Liz Gonzalez and an RBI double by Lauren Ackerson. Hope added on a fourth run in the fourth inning when Gonzalez hit her second homerun of the afternoon. Despite the four runs, Allen (26-3) struck out six over five innings, giving up eight hits.
CSUSM cut the deficit to two in the sixth inning when Alex Miller drew a bases loaded walk, but stranded the bases loaded after a pop-up to second base.
Katie Wilkinson pitched a hitless sixth inning and CSUSM got the tying run to the plate after Olivia Lucatuorto singled with one out, but the Cougars were unable to score to give HIU the 4-2 victory.
In the second game, CSUSM got the best of starting pitcher Janelle Medor, striking for a run in the first on an Alex Miller RBI single before unloading with six runs in the second inning to give CSUSM a 7-0 advantage.
The Cougars stayed hot in the third inning with six more runs, highlighted by Patricia Banda's first career homerun— a two-run shot to left field. Melyssa Bellamy homered to left center in the fourth inning for her third hit of the game and finished the day 5-for-7 with a homerun and two doubles.
Bellamy's first homerun as a Cougar also gave CSUSM their first multi-homerun game of the season. Prior to the game, the Cougars had hit just five home runs in 39 games.
All-American Kaitlin McGinley ripped a double to left center to cap off the scoring at 14-0, clinching a perfect 4-for-4 day at the plate with three runs scored, three RBI, and her 31st stolen base in as many tries this season. McGinley becomes just the sixth Cougar to record four hits in a game, and the first since fellow All-American Derrisha Lacey did it against Bethany University on March 8, 2011.
As a team, Cal State San Marcos racked up 17 hits, the sixth most in school history. Cortney Allen threw four shutout innings to improve to 27-3 on the year, while Katie Wilkinson capped off the shutout with a perfect fifth inning.
Coach Williams is now the youngest active NAIA coach with 700 wins, doing so in just his 16th season. Next on the active wins list is Milligan (Tenn.) coach Wes Holly, who is 753-435 (.634) in 26 seasons.
The Cougars, now 34-6 on the year, return home for senior day and the final home date of the season Tuesday, April 16 as they host Vanguard in a doubleheader at 2:00 pm.