PHOENIX. Ariz — Strong pitching and defense and timely hitting for the second day in a row gave No. 13 Grand Canyon a Pacific West Conference doubleheader sweep of No. 18 Notre Dame de Namur at Stapleton-Pierson Field on Wednesday.
The Antelopes (16-5, 4-0) won all four games of their initial Pacific West Conference series of the season. Wednesday saw the ‘Lopes win 6-1 and 3-1. GCU won a pair of 5-0 contests on Tuesday.
“It was very similar to [Tuesday]. We had two solid outings from our pitchers and it’s got to be good to know that you can attack the zone and your defense is playing well behind you,” GCU coach Ann Pierson said.
In Wednesday’s opener, Stephanie Pesqueira threw a four-hitter. NDNU’s lone run came on a sixth-inning homer. It was the Argos first run in 20 innings of the series. It cut GCU’s lead to 2-1, but the Antelopes answered the run quickly with a four-run sixth.
Kelsey Barak had RBI-singles in the third and fifth, while Kayla Henry went 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Henry was 4-for-8 on the day and upped her team-best batting average to .458. She has reached base in all 21 games.
It was Pesqueira’s ninth complete game. She has recorded a 7-2 mark on the season with a team-best 1.38 earned run average. She did not walk a batter in either of her complete-game wins against NDNU.
Barak drove in the first run of the opener. Haley Walker led off the third with a single, moved to second on a Henry ground out and to third on Claire Zampini’s sacrifice bunt. Barak followed with her two-out RBI hit. In the fifth, Henry singled and went to second on an error. She scored on Barak’s single to right. Nicole Newbury, Walker, Henry and Zampini each had sixth-inning singles in the four-run frame. Henry and Zampini each drove in two runs with their hits.
GCU had 14 hits in the game, six were infield singles.
Kiki Sepulveda earned her second win in as many days with the second game’s victory. She threw a three-hitter and had an RBI with a bases-loaded walk. She improved her record to 6-1.
After NDNU took a 1-0 lead, GCU quickly answered with two in the first and the final run of the game in the second.
“I felt every time they had momentum we answered…back,” Pierson said.
Zampini opened with a one-out infield single. Barak drew a walk prior to Lauren Regester’s double to center field. Regester upped her team best doubles and RBI totals to seven and 22, respectively, along with extending her eight-game hitting streak. Nicole Upshaw was hit by pitch to load the bases prior to a walk to Sepulveda.
In the second, Henry had a one-out single, stole her sixth base of the season and scored on a Barak double.