Sun beaming down on the plate, uprising two-way player Devin Waddell PO ’25 stared down the Pacific pitcher as she went into a circular wind motion. As the ball approached, the batter set her feet and crushed the pitch to deep center field.
To begin its 2022 campaign, the Pomona-Pitzer softball team proved triumphant in both games of the opening double header, pulling out two impressive victories over Pacific (Ore.) University.
In their first collegiate action on the field, Waddell shined brightest among the Sagehens throughout the weekend. By contributing three home runs, five runs batted in and three runs scored, the rookie infielder dominated Pacific pitching, hitting an efficient .571 batting clip on 12 plate appearances.
Waddell also tossed an impressive game on the mound, nearly pitching a complete six-inning game in the second match. Facing 26 batters, she only surrendered four runs to Pacific’s 12, striking out four women in the process.
The first match featured a tense defensive battle throughout the entire game, with pitchers Kailey Newkirk PZ ’22 and Paige Blackwell PO ’22 combining for only one run and seven base hits over seven innings. On offense, Waddell and catcher Deijah Bradley PZ ’23 generated three runs for the Sagehens via home run balls, leading to a tight 3-1 victory.
Throughout the match, the Boxers had traffic all over the basepaths on offense. Despite the early hiccups from the starting P-P pitchers, the Sagehen infield played excellent defense to keep runners left on base at the ends of innings, especially apparent with third basewoman Katy Hurley’s double play in the top half of the fifth.
Meanwhile, the Sagehen offense was relatively cold throughout their opening match, becoming victim of three 1-2-3 innings from impressive Pacific pitching. However, after continuing to chip away at the pitchers by drawing walks, Bradley capitalized on a prime opportunity in the bottom of the fifth inning, blasting a two-run homer past the fences.
The second game proved to be an entirely different story. With 16 runs scored between the two teams, the Sagehens blew out the Boxers 12-4 in a shortened six-inning game.
After giving up two runs in the first inning on the mound, Waddell redeemed herself immediately at the plate by crushing two home runs in her first two plate appearances.
Her excellent hitting inspired other teammates to follow suit. Outfielder Hannah Brajkovich PO ’22 pummeled a pitch in the zone with two women on second and third base in the third, turning in a three-run home run in a two-out situation.
The scoring rally continued in another three-run bottom of the fourth inning, highlighted by an RBI and a run scored from veteran shortstop Amanda Robman PO ’23.
Despite a futile comeback attempt from the Boxers via a two-run RBI double in the top of the sixth inning, the Sagehens instantly responded with double the number of runs. Left fielder Morgan Groves PZ ’24 crushed a two-run pinch hit home run to begin the bottom sixth, followed by a two-RBI double from Waddell to cap off her 3-4 afternoon with four RBIs.
With these impressive twin victories, the 2-0 Sagehens look to continue their dominance in a three game home stand against the Redlands Bulldogs this weekend.