Roleder Powers Athenas to Victory

This weekend, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps softball team (8-2, 5-1 SCIAC) continued their impressive season with two wins over the University of Redlands (5-9, 3-7 SCIAC) to rebound back after their first SCIAC loss, a tough 9-10 defeat to California Lutheran University (9-10, 9-4 SCIAC) last weekend. The victories, an 8-3 win in the first game and then a 9-0 shutout in five innings in the second, helped the team maintain their position atop the SCIAC standings.

“We played great team softball and we’re really pleased about that,” head coach Betsy Hipple said. “We had contributions up and down the lineup, and that’s really hard for a team to defend.”

In the first game, shortstop Carly Roleder CM '18 collected three hits, a single game career-high, and scored twice in the second game to reach 11 total runs on the season.

“It was definitely our best weekend, and I thought we really came together [as a team],” Roleder said. “After our loss last weekend, we came back really motivated and we had our sights set that we weren't going to let up.”

Roleder, who leads the team and the league with her .538 batting average, .962 slugging percentage and .647 on-base percentage, drilled her third home run this season in the first of Saturday’s double-header game.

It was the bottom of the first inning and Redlands was up by one. When Roleder stepped up to the plate and slugged the pitch, it didn’t just make it over the fence, but soared well above it and landed about fifteen feet outside of the NCAA-recommended boundary. Though Roleder has tallied three so far, this homer was definitely the most impressive, according to Hipple.

“[Roleder] is an extraordinary talent and tremendous hitter,” Hipple said. “She was the standout of the weekend, in tandem with our pitchers, who have been doing incredible work this season.”

Although Roleder stood out for her stellar performance at the plate, the Athenas saw even scoring by ten players. Thanks to this consistent and aggressive offense, the Athenas enacted the mercy rule, which terminated the game after five innings.

“[The win] was definitely [attributed to] our offense,” Roleder said. “We were really attacking the ball well this weekend.”

Second baseman Brooklyn Robinson SC ’16 led the team with five RBI across the two games, including a double to left field in the bottom of the second in the first game to give CMS its first lead of 4-2.

In addition, third baseman Mikayla O’Neal CM ’16 brought home three runners in the second game alone, including two off of a double to left center in the bottom of the second. O’Neal and Brooklyn lead the Athenas this season with 12 and 10 RBIs, respectively.

CMS next faces off against Ithaca College at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. March 13, and then walks down to play at Pomona-Pitzer (6-11, 2-6 SCIAC) at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. March 14 before they get a few days off for spring break.

“Our real challenge with this weekend is to finish strong,” Hipple said. “We’ve been saying that spring break is the light at the end of the tunnel when we get to take a little break to recoup and recharge, so we’re treating these games like the sixth and seventh innings of a post-season game.”