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April 21, 2012

2012 Season - Gibbs homers twice in split with North Park

Jillian Gibbs hit her team-leading fourth and fifth home runs of the season Saturday in Augustana's doubleheader split at North Park.

CHICAGO, Ill.-Augustana got an 8-3 win in the opener, but dropped the second game of Saturday's doubleheader with North Park by a score of 5-4. Jillian Gibbs (Rock Island HS, Rock Island, Ill.) homered in each game for Augustana, now 22-8 on the year and 5-3 in College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin play. North Park moves to 20-14 overall and 3-7 in the league.

GAME ONE: AUGUSTANA 8, NORTH PARK 3

Courtney Ledezma (United Township HS, East Moline, Ill.) and Randi Applehans (Mountain Vista HS, Highlands Ranch, Colo.) each drove in three runs and Sarah Hintz (LeRoy HS, LeRoy, Ill.) went the distance to get her 13th win in an 8-3 Augustana win in the opener.

The visitors jumped on top with two runs in the first. Ledezma singled to left to score Jenna Teson (Jacobs HS, Algonquin, Ill.) with the game's first run and Christie Wiersema (Morrison HS, Morrison, Ill.) delivered Jillian Gibbs (Rock Island HS, Rock Island, Ill.) with a sacrifice fly. The inning could have been bigger, but North Park pitcher Courtney Lucht left the bags full of Vikings.

The hosts cut the lead in half with a run in the second. Katie Anderson tripled with one out and scored on Melissa Abraham's groundout to short.

Augustana left two more runners stranded in the second and North Park returned the favor in the third before the Vikings from Rock Island scored twice in the fifth to take a 4-1 lead. Krista Watson (Coal City HS, Coal City, Ill.) reached on an error to lead off the inning and Ledezma followed by blasting her second home run of the season to left field.

Ana Pistilli's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth cut the Augustana lead to 4-2, but the visitors pulled away with four in the top of the seventh. Gibbs led off with her team-leading fourth homer of the season. A Ledezma single, an error and a walk loaded the bases and Applehans cleared them with a double to make it 8-2 Augustana.

Hintz allowed one more North Park tally in the bottom of the inning, but was able to finish things off, leaving two runners stranded. She gave up seven hits and three runs, walking none and fanning four, to improve to 13-2 this season. Lucht went the distance as well and absorbed the loss for North Park.

Ledezma was 3-for-4 with three RBI and Gibbs went 2-for-4 and scored twice.

GAME TWO: NORTH PARK 5, AUGUSTANA 4

Gibbs homered and drove in three runs in the nightcap, but Augustana couldn't quite come all the way back from a 5-1 deficit, falling 5-4.

Both pitchers--Augustana's Ledezma and Casey Latal of North Park--were perfect through three innings, but in the top of the fourth, North Park touched Ledezma for four hits and a pair of runs. Gibbs cut the deficit to 2-1 with her second homer of the day and fifth of the season in the bottom of the inning, but Augustana missed a chance to tie it in the fifth, leaving runners stranded at first and third.

In the top of the sixth, North Park scored three runs to knocked Ledezma out of the box and extend the lead to 5-1. Jessica Refojo and Anderson each had RBI doubles in the frame.

Augustana didn't go quietly in the seventh. Freshmen Jaclyn Wrona (Glenbard South HS, Wheaton, Ill.) and Wiersema had back-to-back singles with one out and classmate Laura Behnke (Wheaton St. Francis HS, Roselle, Ill.) followed with an RBI double to make it 5-2. One out later Gibbs came to the plate and delivered a two-run single to make it a one-run game. However, with the tying run in scoring position, Latal got Watson to pop to short and end the game.

Ledezma fell to 7-5 with the loss. Gibbs finished 2-for-4 with three RBI. Wrona and Wiersema also had two hits each.