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This weekend the LMU Women’s softball team (33-17 overall, 9-3 WCC) took on Saint Mary’s College of California in a conference matchup at Smith Field. The Lions came away with a series sweep over the Gaels. Here are the three major takeaways from this weekend’s action.

3. Outstanding pitching

The Lions were buoyed by strong pitching the entire weekend, with the pitching staff giving up only two earned runs over 27 innings. In the first game of the series, senior pitcher Hannah Bandimere continued her dominance on the mound, tossing four innings of one-run ball, striking out three and walking none. Sophomore pitcher Linnay Wilson, the week's reigning WCC pitcher of the Week, came in to throw three scoreless innings to secure the eventual 4-1 win. In the second game of the series, junior pitcher Samantha Manti spun 10 outstanding innings. She allowed one run, which was unearned, while recording seven strikeouts. Her pitching made a major impact in the 2-1 extra innings win. Bandimere came in to throw the final five innings of the game, giving up no runs and striking out four. In the series finale, Bandimere once again received the starting assignment, setting the tone with four shutout innings in the 8-0 mercy rule game. Bandimere has now thrown 137.2 innings, with a season ERA of 2.55.

2. A thrilling walk off

The second game of the series was low-scoring, with both teams struggling to put up runs until the ninth inning. Saint Mary’s scored a run in the top of the ninth to give them the lead, but LMU responded in the bottom of the inning. With the bases loaded and the Lions down to their last out of the game, junior designated hitter Desiree Moreno drew a bases loaded walk to tie the game and force extra innings. Neither team would score until the bottom of the 15th inning, when redshirt senior catcher Irma Sanchez hit a one-out double. The double set up sophomore shortstop Megan Dedrick, who drove in Sanchez with a single to win the game for the Lions in walk-off fashion.

1. WCC Pitcher of the Week

Sophomore pitcher Linnay Wilson was named the WCC Pitcher of the Week for her efforts in the Lions' series against Santa Clara last weekend. Wilson spun 9.2 innings against Santa Clara, giving up only three runs. Wilson continued her strong pitching against Saint Mary’s this week, throwing four innings total, giving up no walks with three strikeouts. Wilson now has a season ERA of 3.12 in 78 innings, and has racked up 55 strikeouts against only nine walks.

Women’s softball concludes their season next weekend at the University of the Pacific. The Lions are currently in second place in the WCC standings, trailing only BYU. First pitch is scheduled for noon on Saturday, May 4.

This is the opinion of Zach Johnson, a sophomore international relations major from Tai Tam, Hong Kong. Tweet comments to @LALoyolan or email comments to mthomas@theloyolan.com.

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