Buchanan, Cockrell Lead Hens to Victory Against Leopards

The Pomona-Pitzer softball team had a strong start against the University of La Verne April 11, winning the first game of a doubleheader 6-3. However, the
Leopards (16-16, 11-9 SCIAC) bounced back and took the nightcap by a score of 5-2 to
leave each team with a win and a loss on the day. 

The games were part of the Strike
Out Cancer event, which allowed players on both teams to participate in
community building. The event honored
cancer survivors and raised over $400 for local softball player Annalise
Fischer, who is currently battling cancer.

The
Sagehens (13-19, 8-12 SCIAC) managed to take an early lead in the first game of the doubleheader
when designated player Kelsey Buchanan PO ’18 blasted a three-run homer in the opening
inning, giving the Hens a 3-1 lead. 

This resilient effort
continued throughout the game. Center fielder Ashley Morello PZ ’15 drove home second baseman Meagan Tokunaga PO ’15 in the second inning and added another RBI in the
sixth with a double that once again drove in Tokunaga. Right fielder Susanne Boden PO ’16 added an RBI single in the sixth to give the Hens a 6-2 lead. 

After allowing another Leopard run in the top of the seventh, pitcher Bianca Cockrell PO ’17 retired the last batter, earning a complete game. Cockrell kept La Verne to only three runs, one earned, as P-P took a 6-3 victory in the first of this two-game series.

A
similar model followed in the second game as the Hens once again took an early lead. Boden hit a two-run homer in the first inning to put P-P up 2-0, indicating
another strong start for the Sagehens. After being down 2-1 for the majority of the game, La Verne rallied with a two-run homer of its own in the sixth inning to go up 3-2. Adding two more runs in the seventh, La Verne won by a final score of 5-2 as the Hens could not muster any more offense after the first inning blast by Boden.

Despite splitting the games, Buchanan
had an optimistic outlook on the doubleheader. 

“We were producing
more runs overall, and we were also leaving more runners in scoring position,” she said. “The first game went really well, and the second game was a really good
game; we just didn’t come out on top.”

The
atmosphere of the day was also quite tension-filled, but the players didn’t let
that get to their heads—if anything, it motivated them to keep going. 

“La Verne had some pretty vocal fans, and there was a cheer feud going on
between the two teams,” Buchanan said. “But our team plays well when we’re having
fun like that, so the energy was up, and it was a fun doubleheader overall.”

Despite the loss in the second game, there were many shining moments for the Sagehens throughout both games of the doubleheader. Buchanan was two-for-three in the nightcap, while Morello had a perfect three for three in the first contest and Tokunaga added another double to her season total in the second inning of the same game. Overall, it was a strong showing by the Sagehens, a trend the team intends on continuing as the end of the regular season approaches.

P-P will be back with an action-filled weekend starting on Friday, April 17 with a doubleheader against Chapman University (11-14, 8-11 SCIAC) followed by a Saturday showdown against rivals Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (20-10, 14-8 SCIAC).

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