The Pomona-Pitzer softball team (7-17, 4-18 SCIAC) has been heating up the diamond this week as the Sagehens faced Whittier College (12-12, 4-8 SCIAC) last Saturday, Apr. 2. The team was able to split their double-header at home on Beach Field in Claremont, California; after losing the first game 8-2, the Sagehens came out with commendable grit to earn a 4-3 victory.
In their first game, Sagehen Bianca Cockrell PO ’17 brought fire to the field. With eyes focused and arms poised to kill, Cockrell swung with all her might to earn a solo home run in the bottom of the first, putting the Sagehens up 1-0. The Poets, however, were determined to take back P-P’s early lead. Poets Natalia Sanchez and Kacey Whitney each put points on the board, with Sanchez batting in two runs and Whitney hitting a smash homerun.
Feeling confident and powerful with the momentum in their favor, the Poets were able to score three more times in the top of the fifth. The Sagehens, looking to make a comeback, earned a single run from Sofia Baig PO ’17 off a hit from Liz Rodarte PZ ’19.
Despite their best efforts, the Sagehens fell short in game one with a score of 2-8 in favor of the Poets. Baleigh McCuskey PO ’19 recounts how the “first game was a little rough, with a lot of hits, but we were not able to string them together and score runs. It was a little bit of a wake up call, and we definitely came out stronger in the second game”.
With restored fortitude, the Sagehens came out looking to cement a win in game two. Once again, the P-P softball team fought to find an early lead, earning a 3-0 lead over the Poets. Major contributions came in the bottom of the second from Paige Oliver PO ’16, who had a single that brought in Natalie Ireland PZ ’18; later that inning, Susanne Boden PO ’16 also had two RBIs to send Oliver and Sam Carlson PO ’18 home.
The stakes rose as the game progressed, as the Poets scratched tooth and nail to force two runs in the top of the fifth, creating a tight game of 3-2. Pinch hitter Haylee Sindt PZ ’18 stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the sixth, looking to sway the tide of the game. Sindt did just that, as she hit a line-drive single to center field, bringing home Missy Pekarek PZ ’18 to give P-P a 4-2 lead.
The Poets were able to scrape out one more run in the seventh; the Sagehens ultimately held on thanks to five solid innings of pitching from Emily Rockhill PO ’18 and two innings of relief from Cockrell. The Sagehens took game two with a final of 4-3 over the Poets.
Going forward, P-P softball is looking to add more wins to their record, as well as improve their overall gameplay. McCuskey recalls how as a team, they are “starting to hit the ball much more and that's helping a lot, but [they] still need to string hits together more consistently” to maximize points with each play. McCuskey also recognizes how “it also comes down to communication, where there are good days and bad days. But when it comes to communicating on the field, we should be more consistent with that.” The Sagehens will next face Occidental College (7-19, 3-11 SCIAC) at home in another double-header on Saturday, Apr. 9.