Softball Drops Two in Rainy Opener
SAN DIEGO, CA - The Howard softball team ventured to the west coast for their first tournament of the 2011 season in San Diego, Cali. where they were surrounded by several nationally-ranked opponents and rain that would alter the tournament schedule.
Alongside Howard (0-2) at the San Diego Classic were tournament co-hosts San Diego State and No. 22 San Diego as well as No. 8/10 Missouri, No. 10/11 Washington, No.15/15 California, Fresno State, Northwestern, Sacramento State, UC Davis and UC Santa Barbra.
On Friday, the Bison were scheduled to play two games, but only faced off against UC Santa Barbara (6-2) as a result of the weather. UC Santa Barbara would go on to shut out the Bison, 8-0. Christine Sborz tacked on two of Howard's three hits. UC Santa Barbara outhit the Bison 11-3 and fanned eight batters.
On the mound for Howard to begin the game was Emily Johnson who gave up two early runs in the first and gave up two additional runs before the close of the fourth inning. Samantha Gatson took over for Johnson and also gave up four runs, but managed to haul in four strikeouts.
The Bison wouldn't resume play until Sunday as weather delays halted play for Saturday. Howard would take on San Diego (1-0), an unexpected opponent, marking their first game of the season against a ranked opponent.
Howard pounced on San Diego early with a 3-0 lead in the first inning after Sborz led the Bison off with a single to right field. Several illegal pitches and errors on the part of San Diego would allow HU to place Sborz and eventually Lorae Robinson in scoring position. Both Sborz and Robinson would score on illegal pitches. Brittany Barker also launched a RBI double to center field in the opening inning.
The Bison's scoring uproar would end as San Diego shutout HU for the remainder of the game. USD broke out in the fourth inning with three runs and tacked on an additional run in the sixth before finishing the game, 5-3.
Howard will travel south to Spartanburg, S.C. for the Campus Suites Spartan Classic Feb. 26-27 in hopes to bounce back from their first pair of losses.