The Pomona-Pitzer softball team had another couple of tough outings last weekend, falling to Lewis & Clark College on Thursday, Feb. 6., and twice to Vanguard University on Saturday, Feb. 9. The Hens are now 0-5 this season.
“It doesn’t show in the results column, but we’re continuing to improve,” head coach JoAnne Ferguson said. “We’re one or two hits away; SCIAC is what we want to focus on.”
The Sagehens looked sharp in their first six innings against Lewis & Clark, keeping the score close at 2-1. Ashley Morello PZ ’15 went 3-for-3 in the matchup, while Lauren Boden PO ’14, Meagan Tokunaga PO ’15, and Aryana Yee PO ’16 also contributed hits.
It wasn’t until the last inning that Lewis & Clark pulled decisively ahead, adding five more runs to make the final score 7-1.
Pitchers Eden Griffen PZ ’17 and Bianca Cockrell PO ’17 shared equal time in the circle for the Sagehens. The two first-years have been the only pitchers to see action so far this season for P-P.
Against Vanguard on Saturday, P-P lost by a narrow 2-1 margin in game one of the doubleheader. Vanguard was first to score in the fourth inning, but P-P answered with a run of their own in the sixth when Lindsay McCord PZ ’16 singled to right center to drive home Allison Boden PO ’14, who had reached base on a fielder’s choice. The teams entered the seventh and final inning tied 1-1, but Vanguard scored again in the bottom of the inning to come away with the win.
Despite a total of six hits in the close loss, P-P could not string them together to push a few more runs across the plate. Caitlyn Hynes PO ’14 singled in the first inning, while Susanne Boden PO ’16 and Morello each singled in the third. Hynes led off the sixth with a single to left field before McCord and Allison Boden combined to give P-P their only run later that inning. Yee also added a single in the seventh inning, but was stranded on base as the game’s final outs were recorded before she could score.
Strengthening their at-bats to achieve timely, game-winning hits is something the Sagehens have focused on this week in practice.
“We’re just one or two hits away from coming through in those tight spots,” Ferguson said.
Despite the loss in game one, P-P showed off their speed on the base paths: Yee, Hynes, and Quinn Sheehy PO ’17 each logged a stolen base against the Lions. The Sagehens also played solid defense behind Cockrell, who started for the second time this season, and Cockrell was able to go the distance by only allowing two runs.
Griffen took over for Cockrell on the pitching rubber in the second game of the Vanguard doubleheader, in which P-P fell 6-0. Although they were unable to score a run, the Sagehens again earned six hits. Three of these came from Morello, who singled in the first, third, and fifth innings and raised her average to the team-high .500 on the season. Hynes, McCord, and Katie Page PO ’17 each had hits in the second game as well, but the Sagehens were still unable to string them together for a run.
“We had a tough start, but we are working hard and looking better every day,” McCord said. “I’m looking forward to starting conference [and] getting some wins under our belt.”
Although Morello has been “doing a really good job getting on base in the leadoff spot,” Ferguson noted that the season is young and she will continue mixing up the lineup in the coming weeks.
Ferguson is optimistic about her team beginning conference play as they look for their first win of the season.
“Last weekend we were continuing to improve and continuing to play really good softball,” she said. “I’m excited about this team and the level of softball we’ve been playing. We’re really excited for SCIAC to start.”
Next weekend, the team will play their first conference games of the season when they travel to take on California Lutheran University. The first game of Saturday’s doubleheader will begin at noon. The last time these two teams faced off was in March 2013, when the Sagehens and the Regals split the doubleheader with a victory apiece.