Watching the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps softball team (26-6-1, 19-2 SCIAC) relentlessly pursue the SCIAC championship (and eventually Division III National championship) is a thrilling, engaging, and intense experience. The Athenas continued to display their breathtaking and inspiring poise against California Lutheran University (13-18, 7-13 SCIAC) on Friday, Apr. 15, and the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens (9-23, 6-14 SCIAC) Saturday, Apr. 16. CMS dominated all four games that extended their winning streak and solidified their position as leaders of SCIAC.
Because of their powerful offensive presence, the Athenas mercied their Cal Lutheran Regal competitors in both games Friday, displaying incredible tenacity as a team. CMS beat Cal Lu 10-1 the first game and shut out the Regals 8-0 in the second match; both games ended after five innings instead of seven. Shannon O’Neill CM ’16 and Molly Rubidoux CM ’16 each started the first and second games respectively, with Rubidoux throwing her third consecutive shutout game. A strong defensive component is a huge aspect of the Athenas’ game, as it pumps up and inspires the CMS offense to do some damage while simultaneously gets in the heads of their competition and frustrates their opponents.
Athenas across the board contributed runs all weekend long to give CMS its edge over Cal Lu. Abigail Metsch SC ’19, who has had an incredible first season with CMS, was flawless in her approach Friday against Cal Lutheran. With a .351 overall batting average, Metsch went 5-5 with a walk and scoring four times for her team. Victoria Huynh CM ’19 had five RBIs total; Katie Savard CM ’16 hit a two-run dinger. Tara Robinson CM ’16 was a standout for her at-bats, going 5-7 and demonstrating tremendous hustle and leadership.
The Athenas proved their prowess yet again against their Pomona-Pitzer rivals with another two shutouts (5-0 and 3-0) on Saturday. With these wins, CMS has completed a 4-0 sweep against the Sagehens for the 2016 season, its first in a regular season since 2010.
CMS took an early lead against their rivals as Huynh and Robinson singled off Sagehen pitcher Liz Rodarte PZ ’19. These hits allowed the Athenas to put up 2-0 in the first inning. In the second, Savard smacked a double to left center field RBIs to drive in Huynh and Robinson for another two RBIs, extending CMS’ lead to 4-0. Carly Roleder CM ’18 then knocked in Savard for the fifth and final run, putting the cherry on top of a stellar weekend performance by the Athenas.
The second game was a little tighter for the Athenas, remaining scoreless until the fourth inning, during which Briana Halle CMC ’18 doubled, and Carlene Roberts (CMC ’16) and Metsch both singled. Halle again made an appearance in the top of the seventh to hit Sarah Whitney (CMC ’18) home to establish a 3-0 shutout performance against the Sagehens.
The Athenas used their undeniable talent, passion, energy, and unquenchable fire Friday and Saturday to add four more wins to their record and top the SCIAC softball ranks. They have their hearts set on the conference championship, and one can only watch with baited breath as they work to make that dream their reality. CMS hopes to continue their success in SCIACs as they take on Occidental College (10-22, 6-14 SCIAC) in a double-header Saturday, Apr. 23.