Last Saturday, the women of Pomona-Pitzer softball lost both games of a doubleheader against Occidental College 6-1 and 5-4 to end their 2013 season on a disappointing note. The losses were the latest in a series of difficult outings for the Hens as they went 0-10 in the last 10 games of the season to finish at an overall record of 11-26 and 5-23 in SCIAC league play.
The second game of the day, which the Sagehens lost by only one run, came down to the wire. The Hens forced the game into extra innings before Occidental scored an unearned run in the top of the seventh to break a 4-4 tie and get the win. After the Tigers were able to get two runners on base, a defensive miscue by the Hens allowed the Tigers to score the game-winning run.
Immediately after the Tigers scored, right fielder Susanne Boden PO ’16 turned a sacrifice fly attempt into an exciting double play, throwing out a potential insurance run for the Tigers at the plate. The double play was just one of many impressive defensive plays by the Sagehen outfield on the day. Earlier in the game, center fielder Leah Bleichner PO ’15 also threw a runner out at the plate to save a run for the Sagehens. Catcher Lindsay McCord PZ ’16, who made impressive tags on each of the runners, was a key part of both plays. Another exceptional performance in the field came from third baseman Emily Glass PO ’15 who, with the bases loaded and two outs, made a leaping catch at the top of her glove to end the inning for the Hens earlier in the contest.
After the Tigers got the 5-4 lead, the Sagehens had a chance to tie-up the game in the bottom of the seventh inning but were unable to capitalize despite three good at-bats.
In the first game of the day, the Hens started out strong as Glass got the team off to a 1-0 lead with an RBI single in the first to score Ashley Morello PZ ‘15. However, the lead did not last long as Occidental scored the next six runs for the 6-1 win.
On Friday, P-P also dropped both games of a doubleheader to University of La Verne, losing 6-1 and 3-2.
In the Friday nightcap, pitcher Caitlyn Haynes PO ’14 had an impressive performance as she gave up only three hits and helped her own cause with an RBI single as part of a two-run first inning. The only blemish in Haynes’ performance came in the bottom of the sixth, when a bases-loaded walk gave La Verne the lead. Hope for a win remained for the Sagehens in the next inning as third baseman Paige Oliver PO ’16 had a one-out double to get a Sagehen into scoring position. However, the next few batters were unable to bring her home, and she was left stranded on base.
In the first game of the doubleheader, a two-run homer in the first inning by La Verne had put the Hens in a hole that they were unable to claw their way out of as they went on to lose by a five-run margin. The only P-P run in that game came from second baseman Meagan Tokunaga PO ‘15, who had an RBI single in the second inning.
The results of the weekend close the chapter on a particularly difficult season for the P-P softball program. The squad has been hampered all season by untimely injuries and difficult losses. However, the season’s conclusion also opens the door for a discussion of the exciting things we can expect from the Hens in 2014. As an incredibly young team, the Sagehens will return almost its entire line-up, except for lone senior Kathryn Rabak PO ’13. Rabak, who has been a key player in the program over the past four years, struggled with injuries this season and was unable to play during the final three weeks.
Despite the loss of Rabak, the remaining players seem excited to head into the offseason with the past behind them.
“It’s been really hard. But I can’t wait to get back out there and get ready for next year,” said Bleichner, who will be a junior and leader of the team next season. Other returning players also see the offseason as a opportunity to recover and start anew.
“The team definitely has a lot of potential that we didn’t necessarily show this year, so we’re looking to improve during the offseason and come back stronger next year,” Liu said.