‘Lopes celebrate rise to No. 2 with 30-run doubleheader

The Grand Canyon University softball team climbed to No. 2 in the latest Pacific West Conference poll.  And just in time, since the season is winding down this weekend.

The No. 19 Antelopes began their season-ending series with a doubleheader today against visiting Notre Dame de Namur.

And they did it in high style, scoring 30 runs over the two games.

For the ‘Lopes (36-11), it was a way to celebrate their rise in the rankings, falling in just behind No. 1 Hawaii Pacific.  Tomorrow, the graduating players get their last chance to savor the moment on Senior Day at Stapleton-Pierson Field, and then finish out their last doubleheader, again against Notre Dame de Namur 11-31).

The opening game today was over almost before it began and lasted just five innings as the Lopes scored six runs in the first inning, another six in the second, and nine in the third to pile up an insurmountable 21-0 lead.  It was only fitting that a senior pitcher, Amy Searcy, got the 21-1 win to push her season mark to 13-6.

Kaycee Gamez, the sophomore shortstop, was the spark plug for the overwhelming offense the Lopes put together, homering in her first two trips to the plate, parking both over the center-field fence.

And Gamez got a lot of help from a trio of local grads, as Nicki Lorenzi (Horizon HS) went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs, Kara Holtorf (Sunrise Mtn. HS) went 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored, and Teddy Barry (Greenway HS) added a 2-for-3 performance including a double and three runs scored.  Barry is a two-time PacWest Player of the Week.

In the nightcap, a sophomore took the mound to post the 9-6 victory.  Ivy Campas, another local from Sunnyside HS, not only got the pitching win to go 21-5 on the season, but she got the offense rolling in the fifth inning with a long stroke over the left-field fence.  Her work on the mound has earned her PacWest Pitcher of the Week twice this season.

Lorenzi had another productive game, going 3-for-4 with a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored.  And she also added a couple of stolen bases for good measure.  Gamez also picked up where she left off from the first game, going 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles.

The Lopes’ six seniors will be honored before the first game tomorrow, which begins at noon.  As soon as the ceremonies are over, the Argonauts will try again to salvage a last piece of the 2010 season.

And six GCU players will try to end their final college regular season on a winning note.

(Photo: GCU Athletics/Tim Koors)