Cal Lu Still Just Out of Reach for Sagehens

The Pomona-Pitzer softball team (5-22, 2-14 SCIAC) fell to
California Lutheran University (16-8, 10-4 SCIAC) in both games of their
doubleheader on Saturday, March 29. It was the second and final time the Sagehens faced
the Regals in regular season play and was painfully similar to the last
matchup between the two teams in February, when Cal Lutheran came away with
two close victories. Currently, the Regals stand third in conference behind No.
1 University of Redlands and No. 2 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, while the Sagehens are seventh,
ahead of only Occidental College.

In game one, the Sagehens were dealt a 4-1 loss despite
hanging tough with their rivals until the very end. Although the Regals struck
first, scoring in the first inning on a solo home run, this remained their only run for the next six innings. P-P responded by tying the score in
the fifth inning when Ashley Morello PZ ’15 led off with a single to shortstop, advanced
to second on a sacrifice bunt from Lauren Boden PO ’14, and crossed home plate
on an RBI double to center field from Susanne Boden PO ’16.

In the top of the
seventh inning, however, the Sagehens could not maintain the strong defense
they had demonstrated up until that point in the game, and the Regals scored three more runs
to secure their victory. The Sagehens were unable to retaliate in their own
half of the inning. Morello was three-for-four at the plate in the loss, and Susanne
Boden was two-for-three. Bianca Cockrell PO ’17 pitched all seven innings.

Although P-P’s offense was livelier in game two, the
Sagehens’ four runs were still not enough to overcome their powerhouse rivals. Cal
Lutheran ended the game with six runs off of 13 hits, scoring two in the
third inning, one in the fifth, and three more in the sixth. However, the
Sagehens were able to keep Cal Lutheran’s power largely in check; all of the
Regals’ runs were the result of singles, walks, and one error.

The Sagehens scored their first run of game two in the
fourth inning. Susanne Boden led off with a single to center field, and was
replaced by pinch runner Stephanie Boden PO ’14. Stephanie
Boden advanced to second when Caitlyn Hynes PO ’14 drew a walk, then to third on
a sacrifice bunt from Meagan Tokunaga PO ’15, and scored when Sofia Baig PO ’17 successfully
laid down a suicide squeeze bunt.  

P-P scored their next three runs all in the sixth inning. Hynes
and Tokunaga both drew walks, then Baig loaded up the bases with a
single to left field. Lindsay McCord PZ ’16 also drew a walk, scoring Hynes from
third. After a Cal Lutheran pitching change, Quinn Sheehy PO’17 hit a grounder
back at the pitcher, who put Tokunaga out at home plate. With two outs recorded
in the inning and the bases loaded, Morello came through with a two-RBI single back
up the middle that scored McCord and Baig. Unfortunately, the rally ended with
the next batter; Cal Lutheran’s left fielder snagged a line drive by Aryanna
Yee PO ’17 to end the inning. The Sagehens would not score in the seventh
inning, and the score was set at 6-4, Cal Lutheran.

Although Saturday’s home games resulted in two more losses
for the Sagehens’ record books, P-P split with the University of La Verne the day before. Despite
losing the opener 9-1 by the mercy rule, the Sagehens regrouped and came back
to take the nightcap 7-4. Eden Griffen PZ ’17 earned the win with a strong performance
in the pitching circle. The Sagehen offense was also robust: Five different
Sagehens contributed hits in the victory.

Assistant coach Glenn Gillespie praised the hard work of
Cockrell and Griffen over the weekend. 

“Our two freshman pitchers have done a
great job all season,” Gillespie said. “Against Willamette last Wednesday, [Cockrell] threw a
two-hit shutout. [Griffen] did a great job on Friday against La
Verne, keeping a good-hitting La Verne team in check en route to her first SCIAC

He also had positive comments about the team’s
improvement over the course of the season.

“Offensively, we are continuing
to improve as we are getting more clutch hits with runners in scoring
position,” Gillespie said. “We have committed to running more this year, and have stolen 29
bases in 32 attempts. We have a lot of speed on this team and are committed to
using it to spark our offense.”

This weekend, the Sagehens will play Chapman University today, April 4 and SCIAC No. 1 Redlands on Saturday, April 5.

“Going into this weekend, we have our work cut out for us, but with our strong pitching and improved offensive production, I think we have
a chance to make some noise against two tough conference foes,” Gillespie
said. “Redlands is undefeated in conference play at 16-0, but we are going
to do our best to put a couple of blemishes on their record. Chapman is a
strong pitching team, so runs will be at a premium Friday.”

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