On Saturday, April 17th, the P-P team beat Chapman University for the first ever time with a dominating 10-2 victory in the first match, and a 2-1 victory in the second. It was their second double-header win for the season. It was an impressive two wins against Chapman, and the breakout came on senior day (when the graduating P-P seniors on the team are honoured) no-less. The day before, the Sagehens played against Occidental College. They lost the first game 0-2, but fought back to win the second game with a score of 4-1. P-P’s SCIAC record is now 5-15 and its overall record is 12-17.
“Beating Chapman was awesome. It was the first time our program has ever beaten them, so it was a great way to spend senior day, and our last home game!” Melanie Gularte (PI’10), one of two graduating seniors on the team, commented.
Coach JoAnne Ferguson was just as pleased with the team’s performance. “Everything finally came together for us. Our offense exploded, scoring 10 runs in our first game. Our bats have been silent lately, so that was a great feeling! Our defense was focused and consistent. And our pitchers threw well on the mound. When every aspect of our team comes together, we can beat anyone.”
The Sagehens were quick to set the stage for their victory against Chapman. In the first inning of the first game, despite having two outs and only one runner on base, the Hens fought to stay in the inning. A walk and a single later, the bases were loaded. Here, Brianna Marcantoni (PI’12) would make one of the most crucial hits of the game. Her powerful double to left field secured a vital three run lead over Chapman.
In the third inning, the P-P team strung together hit after hit to bring the score to 8-0.
By the end of the fourth inning, P-P secured another two runs and the score was a resounding 10-0. In the top of the fifth inning, the Chapman offence finally started to pick up, but it was too little too late, and the game ended with a 10-2 win to P-P.
The second game was less of a feast for spectators, with P-P racking up two runs with two hits in the third inning and Chapman scoring one run with three hits in the fourth inning.
In her last home game for the P-P team, Gularte pitched 4.1 innings, yielding only five hits and two runs. Coach Ferguson was quick to compliment the graduating seniors, Gularte and Susan Stahlman (PO’10).
“Mel and Susan showed-up focused and determined last Saturday. Mel threw the best I’ve seen her pitch this season against Chapman. She was hitting her spots and mixing speeds very well. Mel shut down the Chapman offense allowing only 5 hits in Game 1. Susan had a great day defensively in the outfield and contributed to our offense as well. She drew a walk in Game 1 and got a hit in Game 2. Both seniors played their hearts out for us in their last home series.”
There are only two teams left to face for the season, but Coach Ferguson is not letting up. “The team continues to focus on making small improvements every day. We face tough competition this weekend against Cal Lutheran and Redlands. Both teams have some strong hitters, so we’ll work hard on our defence this week.”
The Sagehens face off against Cal Lutheran on Saturday, April 24th and Redlands on Sunday, April 25th at 12 and 2pm on both days. Both are away games.