The Pomona-Pitzer softball team lost to Pacific Univeristy 6-1 Feb. 10 but rebounded Feb. 11 to defeat Chapman University 10-7 in the opener of a doubleheader. The Hens trailed 4-5 in the second game when it was postponed due to inclement weather.
In the victory on Saturday, Fiona Riley PO ’15 held Chapman’s offense down as the Hens completed a comeback from 4-6. Riley and Caitlyn Hynes PO ’14 have displayed the depth in the Sagehen lineup this season, as they have shown strong pitching in the absence of Carolyn Cross PO ’13 due to injury.
“It’s still very early in the season, but I am pleased with Hynes and Riley stepping up on the mound while Cross is out,” Coach Joanne Ferguson said. “They both will continue to improve as the season progresses, but I am impressed with their composure and toughness on the mound.”
Despite Ashley Morello PZ ’15 scoring a run in the fourth, the Sagehen batting was not enough to counter Pacific’s quick-hitting offense. Pacific started the game off with a three-run homer in the first inning. The Boxers supplemented their lead with another home run in the second inning and a two-run shot in the fourth.
The Hens fared much better Saturday as their bats came alive against Chapman. They displayed the depth of their batting lineup with several big hits, including a homerun from shortstop Ari Roach PZ ’11.
Chapman started the first inning by scoring two runs, but Roach answered right back with a two-run homerun to catalyze the Sagehen offense. Catcher Emily Glass PO ‘15 batted in two runs off a single in the third inning to give the Sagehens a 4-2 lead.
Each team’s offense looked rejuvenated in the fifth as run after run lit up the scoreboard. Chapman quickly accumulated four runs with two singles and a two-run home run to put the score at 6-4 in the Panthers’ favor. The Hens responded with a six-run inning, started by a single from Glass with the bases loaded. Riley followed with a two-run single to push the Sagehens ahead to 7-6. Morello then brought to score to 9-6 with a two-run double, and an error allowed her to score the Sagehen’s tenth run.
With just two innings left, the Sagehens efficiently held onto their lead, despite allowing one run in the sixth. Riley and Roach prevented any further scoring from Chapman’s end, as Riley struck out another batter, and Roach finished the inning with a double play.
Roach, who hit her first home run of the season last weekend, led the team stats with three runs and two RBIs. Glass was 3-for-4, having displayed solid batting throughout the last few games.
Game two of Saturday’s double header showed another Sagehen comeback, though it was a not a complete game. The Hens found themselves trailing 0-5 before scoring four runs in the fifth to bring the score to 4-5. The game will be continued on March 27.
“Last weekend was a great learning experience, and it felt great to get the win,” Hynes said.
Starting this weekend, the Hens will enter SCIAC play, for which they have been preparing since the season’s start. They face Redlands in a doubleheader on Saturday.
“The early season, non-conference games are good preparation for SCIAC play,” Ferguson said.
Having six such games under their belt with a 3-3 record, the team heads into conference play confidently.
“Our season is looking really good so far, and I think we’ll be able to do well in SCIAC,” Hynes said. “We have a lot of depth, and we all work really well together.”
“We face our first SCIAC opponent, Redlands, this Saturday and it will be a true test of our pitching, offense, and defense,” Ferguson said. “We plan to focus hard this week to prepare for those games.”
She looks forward to the test that this weekend will bring.
“Our line-up is the strongest line-up we’ve had at P-P, and I’m confident we’ll hit the ball hard this weekend.”