On Saturday, March 4, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas softball team (4-4, 3-1 SCIAC) split a doubleheader with the University of La Verne Leopards (9-3, 5-1 SCIAC). It was the Athenas' second doubleheader of the season after sweeping and shutting out Occidental College earlier this season.
The first game on Saturday was a pitcher’s duel. In the third inning, Ande Troutman CM ’19 hit a one-out double, and two batters later, she was driven in on a single by Carly Roleder CM ’18. The lead was short-lived, as a throwing error led to Shelby Tevis reaching second base. She eventually came around to score on a Rachel Ogata single.
Other than the two early runs, there was very little offense to speak of. Both starters, Anna Gurr CM ‘18 for the Athenas and Elisa Ponce for La Verne, pitched five innings and allowed only one run. A home run by Sienna Kendrick in the bottom of the sixth broke the tie. Ponce pitched all the way through the end of the game, finishing with seven hits, two walks, and only one run allowed while striking out 10 batters.
The second game ended La Verne’s undefeated start to SCIAC play.
“It felt very rewarding as our team put in a lot of time and work in the previous week,” Gurr wrote in an email to TSL.
Gurr started the first game of the doubleheader, pitching strongly for six innings before ultimately taking the loss, and then she threw five more innings in relief to get the win. She gave up only one hit in those five innings.
The Athenas' offense played a much stronger second game. The attack started right away as CMS put three runs on the board in the top of the first inning, courtesy of a three-run home run by Roleder. The Athenas scored three more runs in the second inning to extend their lead.
Two singles and a sacrifice fly cleared the bases after CMS had loaded them via two walks and a hit by pitch. The Leopards scored individual runs in the first and second innings before tying the game with four runs off pitchers Briana Halle CM ’18 and Erin Alexander CM ’20.
From there, Gurr and Ponce resumed their pitcher’s duel from the first game. Ponce pitched another five and two-thirds innings, giving up one on seven hits. That one run came on a sixth-inning Troutman RBI single to right field.
“I was excited I got the opportunity to play and contribute to the team’s success in the second game,” Troutman wrote in an email to TSL.
CMS was battling the entire game.
“Since La Verne is a strong hitting team, defense was a crucial aspect in holding the lead,” Gurr wrote.
Gurr closed out the game and clinched her third win of the season. Overall, Gurr characterized the season as “a bit of a learning experience thus far […] we are a young team so it is almost a given that our early season is set on a learning curve.”
The Athenas will next play a doubleheader against sixth-street rival Pomona-Pitzer (4-6, 2-4 SCIAC) starting at 12 p.m. on Saturday, March 11.