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Pacific shines at Sun West Tourney

SOFTBALL: Boxers return from their long road trip with three wins in four games

Pacific's annual spring break trip to Orange, Calif., for the Sun West Softball Tournament was another rewarding one, as the Boxers won three of their four games, including a dramatic victory over nationally ranked Tufts on Saturday.

Pacific made the trip for the fourth time in five years, squaring off against some of the top NCAA Division III and NAIA teams in the country. The Boxers very nearly returned unscathed, the only blemish a 3-2, extra innings loss to Wellesley on Monday that snapped the team's nine-game win streak.

Still, the experience should prove valuable as Pacific resumes Northwest Conference play next weekend against Pacific Lutheran - the last five Division III national champions have played in the Sun West Tournament.

Pacific (18-2, 9-1) clipped No. 11 Tufts in the tournament opener on Saturday afternoon, riding six innings of strong pitching from Andrea Bansen. Bansen also got the win in a 4-1 triumph over Cal State East Bay on Monday. The senior pitched 13 innings at the tournament, striking out 18 and allowing just three earned runs.

Offensively the Boxers were paced by freshman leadoff hitter Stephanie Vanoudenhaegen, who was 5 for 15 with five runs scored in four games.