Miami softball closes series with Cal in a stalemate


California starter Sona Halajian pitches to Miami shortstop Adriana Barlow. Photo by Jack Mueller

By Jack Mueller

A packed crowd witnessed one of the rarest occurrences in softball during Miami’s series finale  contest with the California Golden Bears April 24 as the two teams battled to an 8-8 stalemate after eight innings. 

“They (California) had a flight to catch, so we set up a dead-stop time for 2:15 p.m., the last inning started at 2:08 and there was just no way we could finish the inning,” Miami Head Coach Kiran Kumar said following the conclusion of the tie. 

Despite the lack of a clear winner, there was no shortage of action on display from both teams. Each lineup came up with clutch hits and, as the score suggests, neither team could pull away, with both starting pitchers struggling to keep runners off the basepaths. 

Miami started red hot, jumping out to a 3-0 lead after an error at shortstop by Cal’s Tatum Alzando allowed junior infielder Holly Blaska to reach and two RedHawk runs to score. The Golden Bears responded with a three-run second inning, fueled by back-to-back extra-base hits from Kacey Zobac and Amani Bradley. 

The score did not stay even for long, as freshman infielder Chloe Parks got a hold of a pitch from Sona Halajian and recorded her fourth home run on the season to give Miami a 5-3 lead. 

But from there Miami’s offense went cold, allowing the Golden Bears to rally and score three runs in the fourth inning to take a 6-5 lead. 

Miami’s offense came back to life thanks to several clutch hits, including a home run from Karli Spaid in the bottom of the sixth, which cut the Cal lead to a single run heading into the bottom of the seventh inning. In the RedHawks turn at-bat in the seventh, senior Adriana Barlow hit a single to score pinch-runner Kate Kobayashi to send the game into extra innings. After both sides failed to score in the eighth, the game was called a tie after a three-hour contest.

The RedHawks enter the playoff push red-hot, only dropping a single game in their last 15 contests. With just three more series to go until playoff time, the team is looking to keep its form going as the stakes get higher. 

“We’re going to keep doing what we’ve been doing…Our defense just has to give our offense a chance to score some runs, because they will,” Kumar said. 

The Sunday game was the last in a three-game home stand against Cal. Miami won 6-5 on Friday and 7-5 on Saturday. 

The RedHawks now own a record of 29-13-1 before their final three MAC contests against Akron, Ball State and Central Michigan.