The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps softball team (24-12, 18-10 SCIAC) dominated the field with two shutouts against Chapman University (15-19, 12-16 SCIAC) April 24, winning 4-0 and 8-0. After the wins, they lost to the University of La Verne in a two-game series 7-1 and 3-2.
The Athenas were able to maintain their lead the entire first game, never giving Chapman a chance to score. Early in the first game, CMS had a balanced scoring attack, putting up one run in each of the four innings. Many players contributed significantly to the Athenas’ success, including the team’s RBI leader, shortstop Tara Robinson CM ’16, who drove in third baseman Mikayla O’Neal CM ’16 on two occasions. Robinson, who is also the home run leader of the team, knocked another one out of the park to lead off the third inning for her sixth on the year.
With some impressive teamwork and all around great work, the Athenas were able to complete the sweep of the Panthers in game two.
“I definitely think that we made some great strides during our Chapman series,” O’Neal said. “Everyone was executing and doing the little things, we played good team ball, and it seemed like everyone was just playing really loose and relaxed. The second we brought our energy, it just seemed like Chapman kind of folded.”
The Athenas found the perfect balance between aggressive and patient softball in the second game of the day. CMS continued to pile on the hits as O’Neal went three-for-four with a triple. First baseman Katie Savard CM ’16 also contributed to this momentum with two hits and two RBIs. Following the doubleheaders, the Athenas sit one game back of the SCIC leader, Whittier College (25-15, 19-9 SCIAC).
“I think we really focused and made the plays that we needed to and we came out swinging hard,” right fielder Carly Roleder CM ’18 said. “For me, I just was able to focus and hit my pitch.”
Following Friday’s great performances, the Athenas put up an excellent effort on Saturday and Sunday, but fell short to the University of La Verne (23-17, 18-10 SCIAC).
“La Verne posed a different threat for our young team,” O’Neal commented. “We just came off a sweep and really kind of expected to continue to play flawless ball. That obviously isn’t something to be maintained, and La Verne fought hard and pushed back when we scored one in the first. I think it may have caught us off-guard and we weren’t really able to adjust or get things rolling after.”
Although both games ended in losses for CMS, there were some major successes on the part of the Athenas. Center fielder Alexa Heydenberk CM ’17 had an RBI in the first game, a 7-1 loss. In the second game of the two-day series, designated player Briana Halle CM ’18 hit an RBI in single in CMS’ 3-2 loss.
“When we played La Verne, they were just making some clutch hits when they needed it,” Roleder added.
In what will be a dramatic and intense playoff, the Athenas will face off once again against La Verne in the SCIAC tournament May 1.
“We have a young team with a lot of energy and plenty of talent, and I’m excited for us and our postseason play,” O’Neal said.