Lopes open weekend with rout of Bakersfield

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After picking up its first-ever Western Athletic Conference (WAC) wins last weekend, the Grand Canyon University softball team tallied a third league win Friday, posting an 8-0 five-inning run-rule victory over CSU Bakersfield (9-29-1, 0-4 WAC) in game one of a three-game weekend series at the Roadrunner Softball Complex in Bakersfield, Calif. With the win the Antelopes move their record to 18-16 and 3-1 in loop play.

"It was a great team win for us today and I was pleased with our overall performance," said head coach Ann Pierson. "Peski threw a great game for us today and the defense played really well behind her."

The Lopes recorded the first punch in the top of the first to take an early 1-0 lead. Leadoff hitter Haley Walker drew a full count walk to open the game and then later scored on a Lauren Regester two-out RBI single up the middle, plating GCU's first run.

Grand Canyon added a pair of runs in the top of the second to extend its lead to 3-0. Camree Wartman laced her seventh double of the season to lead off the inning and then advanced to third on a wild pitch. After a Canyon groundout and fly out to center, Claire Zampini walked. With runners on the corners and two outs, Walker ripped a double to left field, scoring both Wartman and Zampini.

After neither team strung together anything at the plate in the third and fourth, Grand Canyon's offense exploded in the fifth, scoring five times in the frame to move the lead to 8-0. Regester picked up her second and third RBI of the game, connecting on a single to left field, sending Kayla Henry and Walker across the plate. Nicole Newbury then singled to center, putting runners on first and third with one out. Wartman then stepped in the box and drilled a three-run home run to right field, putting the Lopes on top, 8-0. The round-tripper marked as the third of the year for the freshman infielder.

Stephanie Pesqueira picked up her ninth win of the year in the circle, as the senior right-hander was very efficient, surrendering just four hits and not allowing a CSUB run. The Tempe native struck out a pair of Roadrunner batters and didn't issue a walk in Friday's outing.

Wartman, Regester, and Walker all recorded two hits at the dish in Friday's affair.

"I'm looking forward to getting back out and playing again tomorrow and we will have to be ready for two tough games," concluded Pierson.

The Lopes will return to the diamond Saturday for a doubleheader against the 'Runners. First pitch in game one of the twin bill is slated for 1 p.m., with game two following. Fans can find a link for live stats to follow all of the action from Bakersfield at www.gculopes.com.

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