Softball Splits with Chapman, Can’t Touch Whittier

The Pomona-Pitzer women’s softball team had an action-packed weekend with two back-to-back double headers against top SCIAC opponents. The Sagehens came out of the weekend with mixed results, one win and three losses, to bring their overall record to 11-18 and 5-15 in SCIAC. 

In the second of the doubleheaders on Sunday, the Sagehens were unable to upset the Whittier College team on their home field as the Poets swept the games 10-0 in the first game and 7-3 in the night cap. The matchup, which was originally scheduled for Friday but was postponed until later in the weekend, was a tough one for the Sagehens as the Poets are one of the top teams in SCIAC this year. 

Overall, the day proved rough for the Sagehens at the plate as the P-P bats struggled to get anything going, managing only two hits in the entire opening contest. The two hits that did come were singles from Lauren Boden PO ’14 and Ashley Morello PZ ’15, but they were not enough to compete with the hot Whittier bats in the high-scoring contest.

P-P started off the second game of the day with a little more offensive momentum as Morello got an early single her first time up to the plate. Morello’s at-bat started a two-run first inning for the Sagehens that gave them the early lead. During the inning, the Sagehen bats were aided by a whopping four errors by the Whittier defense. Unfortunately, Whittier came back quickly to score three runs in the second and regain the lead. In the fourth inning, they struck again with three more unearned runs to run away with the lead and eventually the game. The Sagehens fought back with an RBI single from Meagan Tokunaga PO ’15 in the sixth, but they were unable to make up the deficit and went on to lose 7-3.

The difficult losses came on the heels of a more successful double header for P-P against Chapman University on Saturday. In the first game of the afternoon, Fiona Riley PO ’15 pitched seven scoreless innings before conceding her first and only run in the eighth inning. Riley held the Panthers to four hits and a sole walk in eight innings. During the game the Sagehens had no problem getting on base with six hits and three walks, but they struggled to convert those baserunners into runs. In the bottom of the eighth, after giving up the go-ahead run, Caitlyn Hynes PO ’14 kept the Sagehen hopes alive with a one-out single. On the next at-bat, Leah Bleichner PO ’15 reached first but was called out on the next play for leaving first base early on an attempted steal to end the game, giving Chapman the 1-0 victory. 

In the second game of the day, the Chapman hitters came out swinging to score four runs in the first two innings of the nightcap, but the Sagehens remained determined to contain the early damage. Struggles in the field from Chapman and a series of errors helped the Hens to respond with an important run in the bottom of the first. In the bottom of the fifth, a double from Lindsay McCord PZ ‘16 drove in another run for the Sagehens.

In the next inning, down 4-2, the Sagehen bats really got going. Bleichner started off the inning with a walk and then moved to second following a sacrifice bunt by Paige Oliver PO ’16. She then advanced to third on a single by Tokunaga. After Tokunaga stole second, Stephanie Boden PO ’14 laid down a bunt to bring Bleichner home and cut the Panther lead to one. Morello then singled during her next at-bat, and Tokunaga rounded home to tie up the game. Aryana Yee PO ’16 then drew another walk, and a double from Lauren Boden knocked in another run. Yee then scored an insurance run following an error by the Chapman pitcher to round out the Hens’ impressive scoring effort. The Sagehens held on to the 6-2 lead by shutting down Chapman in the next inning to win the game and split the double header 1-1.

Overall, P-P’s reaction to their performance over the weekend was positive.

“We’ve been playing really well. Solid defense and hitting it consistently, the hits just don’t always drop or come at the right time for us this year” Jessica Liu PO ’15 said.

Bleichner echoed Liu’s optimism, saying, “When we get going, teams have a hard time containing our bats. We just need keep working hard, and the wins will come.”

The Sagehens are back in action on Friday as they take on Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on their home field for what should prove to be one of the most exciting matchups of the season. 

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