Athena and Sagehen Softball Split Doubleheader in Pitchers’ Battles

Last Saturday, the Athenas and Sagehens met on the CMS field for a doubleheader. CMS, tied for the division lead and coming off four straight wins, looked like the favorite going in, especially with the Sagehens losing four in a row up to this point. After a routine 8-0 victory for CMS, P Mackenzie Smith PO ’09 carried the Sagehens, pitching a complete game shutout for the win in the second game.

The Athenas sent Erika Weingart CM ‘09 to the mound, while the Sagehens went with Melanie Gularte PI ’10. The Athenas jumped on Gularte early, scoring a run in the first, and then knocking Gularte out of the game with a six-run third inning. By the time the fourth inning rolled around, the game was essentially over. After another Athena run in the fourth, the game was called in the fifth due to the mercy rule.

“I am finally hitting my stride as a pitcher, and shutting out Pomona-Pitzer was definitely a high point of my college softball journey,” said Weingart. “It was very gratifying to end my competition with the Sagehens on that note.”

Weingart went five strong innings, allowing just two hits and one walk. RF Gizelle Pera CM ‘11, LF Michelle Harvey CM ‘11, 1B Melissa Munoz SC ‘11, 3B Emily Nordhoff CM ‘12, and DH Katerina Yale CM ‘12 all had two hits on the day. Alexis Garcia PI ‘11, Gularte’s replacement, was stronger than she on the mound, only allowing a single hit in 1.1 innings, but it was too little too late for the Sagehens in the morning portion of this doubleheader.

The Athenas looked even better going into the second half of the doubleheader, sending ace Julia Cruz SC ‘10 to the mound. Cruz, the league leader in ERA, is averaging a miniscule 1.03 runs per seven innings. P-P countered with Smith, who was 0-7 up to this point with a 3.52 ERA. Both teams knew runs would come at a premium.

A pitchers’ battle it was, as each pitcher dazzled the other hitters. For the first four innings, eight goose eggs lay on the scoreboard. Finally, in the top of the fifth, 1B Leanna Guillermo PI ‘09 got on base with a single, and after a 3B Brianna Marcantoni PI ‘12 hit, an SS Arianna Roach PI ‘12 single brought home Guillermo for the only run of the day. Both pitchers were near perfect for the rest of the game, with CMS struggling to generate any offense in the second game. The Athenas only managed three hits facing Smith, who picked up her first win of the season, in her most impressive game of the season. Marcontoni was the only batter with a multi-hit game, while Roach reached base three times, with a hit and two walks.

“Run support was the difference between the first and second games,” said Weingart.

According to Smith, “there was difference in the attitude of the entire [Pomona-Pitzer] team the second game. We didn’t play defeated, we didn’t play afraid to lose, we played to win, and we played solid. As for momentum, I really hope this carries over into our upcoming games against Whittier and Cal Lu. CMS is one of the better teams in conference, which means we can and should beat every team.”

CMS (21-7, 10-4 SCIAC) stands tied for second in the conference, and P-P (7-19, 5-8 SCIAC) is just one game behind Cal Lutheran, leaving them at fourth place, the final spot for the league tournament. The Athenas will battle the first place Redlands Bulldogs in a doubleheader today at Athena field starting at 2 p.m., while the Sagehens will host La Verne, tied for second in the conference at 2 p.m.

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