5Cs Go Yard in Sagehen Softball Series Split

The powerful
bats of the Sagehen softball first-years were at it again last weekend at the
University of La Verne as three young Hens went yard.

“[The
first-years] really have been taking softball seriously, and I’m so happy that
the hard work they’ve been putting in at practice is really paying off in the
games,” shortstop Aryana Yee PO ’16
said. “Overall, I think the
first-years have brought in a spark this season that I haven’t seen in the
past, which makes me really excited about the rest of the season.”

The Pomona-Pitzer softball
squad (6-9, 2-4 SCIAC) started off hot against the Leopards (8-8, 4-4 SCIAC) in the first game
of the Feb. 28 doubleheader. Despite playing on a gloomy day with a chance of rain,
the Sagehens came prepared for anything.

“Going into the doubleheader
this weekend, our main goals were to be mentally prepared, to come out
hard and to be focused for every pitch of every inning,” Yee said. “With
the uncertainty of rain and whether or not we were going to play this
weekend, it was especially important that we stayed in the mindset of getting
to play.”

In the earlier
game, catcher Natalie Ireland PZ ’18 started a Hen rally in the
third inning, hitting a two-run shot for her second career home run. Fellow
first-year first baseman Emily Rockhill PO ’18 hit a solo blast later in the
inning to put the Sagehens up 4-0.

After the Hens
scored another run in the top of the fourth to go up by five, the La Verne bats
awoke. In the final three innings, the Leopards went deep three times with solo, two-run, and three-run jacks. P-P could not muster any more offense and
dropped the game by a final of 9-5.

Late inning runs
have been an unfortunate problem for the Sagehens this season, and this again proved
to be costly in the first game on Saturday.

“Giving games away in the last innings has been tough,” pitcher Bianca Cockrell PO ’17 said. “But that being said, we’ve had quite a few walk-off wins so I think while the outcome hasn’t been what we wanted, we’re still playing good ball all 21 outs.”

However, the
Hens came out with a vengeance in the second game. The Sagehens came out
swinging and scored two runs in the top of the first from a fielder’s choice
and an Ireland RBI single.

P-P was not
finished and broke the game open in the third, scoring five runs to go up 7-0.
In the top of the fourth, first baseman Sam Carlson PO ’18 hit a solo shot to
bring her home run total to five on the year. From there, the Hens coasted, adding three more runs in the fifth as the game ended in a final score of 11-2.

Even with the
tough first game loss, the Sagehens bounced back, playing their style of
softball to take the second.

“Offensively, we
mainly got out-hit in the first game,” Yee said. “We had a solid defensive
game, so we knew we had to keep that up in the second game in addition to
making hitting adjustments sooner. I think our team came together more as a
unit in the second game and we all wanted to show the fight we had in us.”

Pitcher Eden
Griffen PZ ’17 picked up the win in the second game, throwing a complete game.
Yee finished the day 6-8 with two RBIs and two runs scored.

P-P looks to
keep the bats going in next weekend’s doubleheader at Chapman University (3-4, 2-3 SCIAC) March
7.

“As for Chapman, we’ve all been working really hard in practice this week, and every week I feel better and better about our team.  It’s been so much fun seeing how we’ve been fitting the pieces together,” Cockrell said. “Chapman has a good pitcher, but we have a great offense so I’m excited to see what we do.”

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