CMS softball stumbles on first two games of the season

Destiny Garcia strikes the ball.
Destiny Garcia SC ’24 produces one of the ten hits the Athenas accumulated during their match against Azusa-Pacific. (Christopher Wang • The Student Life)

Following their impressive 24-4 SCIAC record and reaching the NCAA West Regionals tournament in 2019, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps softball team had high hopes to replicate their previous successes this season. 

In their first matchup of the year on Jan. 29, the Athenas aimed to take home two wins in back-to-back matchups against the Azusa Pacific Cougars at Athena Field. But after seven innings and three hours of worked up sweat, the first game resulted in a 6-3 loss. 

Lauren Richards CM ’22 threw strategic pitches, pulling in strikeouts with a fair amount of low balls in the strike zone. Meanwhile, Cougars pitcher Katie Korstrom packed a punch by pounding the zone with scorching fastballs, challenging CMS bats. 

Although both teams filled up the stat sheet by recording 10 hits each, CMS was unable to send players home on key situations with runners on the basepaths. After the Cougars grabbed a 6-1 lead after five innings, CMS fell short on a late comeback attempt within the last two frames. 

The CMS softball team gathers on the softball field.
The CMS softball team huddle during their game against Azusa-Pacific last Saturday (Christopher Wang • The Student Life)

The sixth inning reflected this outcome for the Athenas. With CMS up to bat, hitters Maren Summers CM ’23, Ashleigh Adkins SC ’24, Kristin LeBlanc CM ’23 and Destiny Garcia SC ’24 produced powerful swings that caused errors from the Azusa defenders. 

As a result, CMS advanced from base to base, allowing LeBlanc and Adkins to cross home plate and secure two runs for CMS. However, the comeback proved too little too late, as Cougar pitchers caused strikeouts to end the inning.

Shortly thereafter, any possibility of a break-even-matchup was scrapped by the Cougar’s 4-0 lead, locking up the game by the fifth inning when it was called due to darkness.

Although unable to secure any wins, the Athenas are far from discouraged. CMS is set to face the Vanguard Lions in another double-header this afternoon.

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