Bulldogs Too Much for Spiraling Sagehens

In a pair of home games last Saturday, Feb. 22, the Pomona-Pitzer softball team lost twice to the University of Redlands Bulldogs. Redlands is typically a very strong team in conference play, and this past weekend’s games showed that they have come out in full force again this season. These recent losses drop P-P’s record to 0-9 in the season and 0-4 in conference. Redlands remains undefeated in conference with a 4-0 record, and stands 6-6 overall.

Although they went on to lose 6-2, the Sagehens managed an impressive nine hits in game one of the doubleheader. Three of these hits came off the bat of Aryana Yee PO ’16, while Lauren Boden PO ’14, Meagan Tokunaga PO ’15, Paige Oliver PO ’16, Lindsay McCord PZ ’16, Katie Page PO ’17, and Susanne Boden PO ’16 also contributed one hit apiece. 

Struggling to push runs across the board for most of the game, P-P earned both of their runs in an exciting second inning. Lauren Boden started the rally with a single up the middle, then advanced to second base on a single to left field from Oliver. McCord then drew a walk to load up the bases for the Sagehens. Page also walked, scoring Lauren Boden. Susanne Boden continued the offensive streak with a single to left that allowed Oliver to cross home plate. However, those two runs were all the Sagehens would score, both in the inning and in the game; the bases remained loaded with stranded Sagehen runners as the final outs were recorded to end the inning. 

What seemed to hurt P-P the most, however, were their mistakes in the field; the Sagehens committed a total of five errors throughout the game, which resulted in three of Redlands’ six total runs. Eden Griffen PZ ’17 pitched six innings for the Sagehens. In the seventh inning, after the Bulldogs scored their sixth run, Bianca Cockrell PO ’17 took over and stayed in to pitch the entirety of game two.

P-P started out stronger in the second game, holding the Bulldogs scoreless through four complete innings. In the final innings, however, Redlands scored five runs while holding the Sagehens to zero. P-P earned four hits in the game led by Lauren Boden, who singled to shortstop to begin the first inning. Although Caitlyn Hynes PO ’14 followed up with a double, the inning ended before either of the runners could score, a pattern that continued throughout the game. 

Despite their lack of runs in the second game, P-P came close to scoring on numerous occasions. Throughout the game, the Sagehens consistently demonstrated their ability to get runners on base and move them into scoring position. Unfortunately, they struggled when it came to actually scoring the runs they had worked to set up. In the second inning, Oliver got on base by drawing a walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt from Sofia Baig PO ’17. In the third inning, Lauren Boden led off with another single and moved to second on a sacrifice from Yee, but again was left stranded as the next two consecutive batters recorded outs. Similar situations unfolded in both the fourth and fifth innings: In the fourth, Tokunaga walked and advanced on a sacrifice from Oliver. In the fifth, Susanne Boden singled to get on base, and a sacrifice followed from Lauren Boden. As was true each inning before, however, no Sagehen runner was able to cross home plate.

While the team is aware of how they should improve, they know that it is also important to focus on the things they are doing well. As Lauren Boden pointed out, the team did a decent job keeping up with their tough SCIAC rivals this weekend.

“We played [Redlands] pretty closely for the most part,” she said. “Our freshman pitchers have gotten better each week at reducing the number of walks and keeping the leadoff batter off the bases. Our corner infielders did a great job fielding the bunts to eliminate the short game, which Redlands typically uses. As a team we are working towards eliminating the one ‘big inning,’ and our bats are starting to come alive.” 

Although P-P has now fallen to the bottom of the conference in terms of rankings—they are behind all except Occidental College (1-11, 0-6 SCIAC)—the season is still young; the team has yet to face five of their seven SCIAC opponents. The Sagehens’ next matchup is Saturday, March 1, when they travel to take on Occidental for a doubleheader.

The Sagehens head into the coming weekend ready to collect their first win of the season.

“We are confident heading into the games at [Occidental] this weekend,” Lauren Boden said.

The first pitch will be at noon on Saturday at Occidental. 

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