SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – (March 24) Seattle University softball shut out Saint Mary’s, 3-0, at the Gaucho Classic II Saturday afternoon. Andie Larkins and Shianne Smith combined to blank the Gaels, holding them to four hits on the day.

“We had good pitching and defense today,” said Coach Geoff Hirai. “The outfielders played really well defensively and we got some clutch hitting.”

With the win, Seattle U reached the 20-win plateau in 2018, matching its win total from all of last season. It marks the first time since SU joined the WAC that the Redhawks have won 20 games before the start of conference action.

The Redhawks scored in their first trip to the plate. Alyson Matriotti reached on an error and then moved to second on a passed ball. Madison Cathcart walked, and then with two outs, Maddy Kristjanson singled to left, putting SU up, 1-0, early.

Larkins gave up a two-out single in the second, but put down the other three Gael hitters in the frame.

In the bottom of the second, Cherise Silvan led off with a walk. A Susanne Morris base hit put runners at the corners. Savannah Loomis followed with a sacrifice fly to make it 2-0.

Larkins strung together a 1-2-3 third and then worked around a walk in the fourth, pushing the game to the fifth inning. The junior earned foul out, a groundout, and a flyball to retire the Gaels in the fifth.

Saint Mary’s put two on in the sixth, chasing Larkins. Smith came on, getting a strikeout and a flyout to end the threat.

With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Bailey Thompson smacked a home run to centerfield, giving the Redhawks more insurance and a 3-0 advantage.

In the seventh, Smith allowed a walk to open the frame. The freshman rallied with three straight outs, though, securing the save and getting SU off to a positive start for the weekend.

Morris went 2-2, while Cathcart had a hit and a walk. Larkins pitched 5.1 innings, giving up four hits on her way to her sixth win of 2018. Smith tallied the last five outs, allowing only a walk for her first save.

Seattle U will face Saint Mary’s again on Sunday before taking on UC Santa Barbara.