Seniors End Careers on High Notes with Victory Over Whittier

The
Pomona-Pitzer softball team (17-23, 12-16 SCIAC) concluded their 2015 season on
a winning note in a doubleheader against Whittier College (25-15, 19-9 SCIAC) April 26.
After losing the first game 4-0 as Whittier pitcher Samantha Blum tossed a perfect game, the Sagehens bounced back for a resounding 9-2 victory in
the second game, concluding their season by crushing the No. 1 seed in the
conference.

“It was great to
end on a high note,” pitcher Bianca Cockrell PO ’17 said. “We’d been a little
dead in the first game, but we completely flipped the switch and were fired up,
determined to win [game two] for the seniors. I also have to add that with that win, we won three out of four games with Whittier, the team who won the conference.”

In
the first game, the Sagehens were bested by Blum, who retired all 21 batters
she faced. Whittier was also supported by
their very strong defense, who helped keep the Hens off the bases with exceptional plays. 

Left fielder Ashley
Morello PZ ’15 saw her 17-game hit streak end in unlucky fashion with three
line-outs in the loss. Despite Whittier’s stellar play against SCIAC opponents this season, the 4-0 win was
the Poets’ first and only victory against the Sagehens.

In
the nightcap, P-P’s offense woke up and the Hens had an outstanding game at the plate. Blum gave Whittier a 1-0 lead in the second inning, but the
Sagehens responded with an RBI double by right fielder Susanne Boden PO ’16, followed by an
RBI single by second baseman Meagan Tokunaga PO ’15 in the fourth inning. 

The game broke wide open in the sixth inning, with P-P scoring seven runs to clinch
the victory. Third baseman Aryana Yee PO ’16 smacked a two-run single to start the scoring streak, followed by RBI singles from Quinn Sheehy PO ’17 and Boden, and an RBI double from designated player Kelsey Buchanan PO ’18. 

This
doubleheader concluded the Sagehens’ 2015 season, and with it the end of a few college softball careers. Senior leaders Morello, Tokunaga and center fielder Leah Bleichner PO ’15 each got hits in their final collegiate softball game, providing a fitting end to their Sagehen careers.

“[Morello]
was zero for three so far [in game two], and when she came up in the top of the sixth,
we were all freaking out because this was going to probably be her last at-bat
ever,” Cockrell said. “When she poked her little, routine single through the infield, we went
absolutely nuts as if she’d hit a walk-off grand slam or something. We were so
excited for her—not just with her, but also for her—and that says so much about
the character of our team.”    

The team hopes to
build on this year’s improvement, with a core nucleus that will be returning
next season. Buchanan, for one, is excited and optimistic for the team’s
future. 

“We will definitely miss the seniors, but we’re all looking forward to
next year now that we know what we’re capable of,” she said. “We have a really
strong team coming back, and we hope we can honor our seniors by making the
program better every year just like they have in the past four years.”

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