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Stanislaus falls short in home tourney
CSUS softball pic2
Brittney Rickles catches a fly ball to close out an inning against Sonoma State on Friday. - photo by FRANKIE TOVAR / The Journal

The first day of this year’s Tournament of Champions didn’t go as planned for California State University, Stanislaus. Two days after snapping an eight game losing streak with a pair of victories over Montana State-Billings University, the Warriors again found themselves in the loser’s bracket as they fell to Sonoma State University, 5-7, Western Oregon University, 6-7, and Notre Dame de Namur, 8-10.

Stanislaus’ first matchup against the Seawolves was the fifth game between the two teams in the span of a week. Sonoma State completes a clean sweep of the Warriors with the help of pitcher Amanda Llerena who struck out ten Warrior batters through nine innings while allowing only five hits.

Stanislaus scored first when Sarah Locarnini hit a two-run homer over right center field, but runs in the first and fourth innings, a three-run fifth inning, and two runs in the ninth was too much for the Warriors to overcome despite a three-run inning of their own in the seventh.

Despite the struggles at the plate, Warrior Brittani Weatherford had a decent 8.1 innings of play in which she struck out six batters.

For the second game against Western Oregon, Stanislaus enlisted the services of three pitchers—Natalie Rendon, Kiley Mendez, and Kristan Burns. Rendon spent the majority of the game on the mound but only managed to strike out two batters through four innings.  Though the Warriors plate performance improved greatly from their previous game, a score by committee effort from Western Oregon was just enough to edge out Stanislaus despite multiple RBIs from both Lauren Liming and Burns.

Stanislaus had one more shot at redemption in its final game of Day One of the tournament against Notre Dame de Namur University, but the Argonauts stopped that from happening.

A five-run sixth by NDNU turned a close game into a 10-5 Argonaut lead. However, in their last at-bat, the Warriors scored three times, highlighted by a two-run double by Sarah Locarnini.

Locarnini went 6-for-12 with two doubles, a triple, a homerun and drove in six runs to lead the Stanislaus offense on the day. Liming had five hits with a double plus two stolen bases.  Burns drove in four runs.

Weatherford threw 14-plus of the team's 21 innings on the day in two starts. She gave up five earned runs (of the 13 runs allowed), struckout eight and walked eight.

The Warriors now have two more days of competition left, beginning with today’s games against Simon Fraser University at 3:45 p.m. and Hawaii Pacific University at 6 p.m. Both games will be played at Pedretti Park.