Late Comeback Gives Sagehens Split With Chapman

Late Comeback Gives Sagehens Split With Chapman

By Avery Raimondo '15

Claremont, Calif. – Down 4-2 in the sixth inning against Chapman University, the Pomona-Pitzer softball team exploded for four runs, then held tough in the top of the seventh in order to split Saturday's doubleheader against Chapman University with a 6-4 win in the nightcap.

The victory came on the heels of a tough 1-0 loss in the afternoon's opener, as sophomore Fiona Riley (Berkeley, Calif. - pictured) pitched seven scoreless innings before conceding her first and the deciding run in the eighth inning.

Riley threw the second game as well, earning the win as the Sagehens move to 11-16 overall and 5-13 in the SCIAC. Chapman moves to 22-8 overall and 15-5 in the SCIAC.

Between their six hits and three walks, the Sagehens had no problem getting on base in the doubleheader's first game, but they struggled to convert those base runners into runs. Both sophomore Ashley Morello (Santa Cruz, Calif. ) and junior Caitlyn Hynes (Upland, Calif. ) twice singled while junior Lauren Boden (Atlanta, Ga. ) doubled in her one appearance at the plate. However, Chapman pitchers Cassie Oregel and Natalie Both managed to work their way out of any trouble.

Riley was similarly great for the Sagehens, as she held the Panthers to four hits and a sole walk in eight innings. Leading off in extra innings, Kyla Javier singled up the middle and eventually made it to third base after a sacrifice and a groundout. With two outs, Lisa Perez chopped a pitch to freshman shortstop Aryana Yee (Redwood City, Calif.) who had no chance to get either Perez out at first or Javier as she crossed home plate to give the Panthers the first lead of the game.

In the bottom of the eighth, Hynes singled with one out. On the next at bat, sophomore Leah Bleichner reached first on a fielder's choice, but she was called out for leaving first base early on an attempted steal to end the game.

While Riley was nearly unhittable in the first game, Chapman tacked on four runs in the first two innings of the nightcap. After Jenny Richards singled and Kerry Peters reached on an error, Brittany Furlong singled to left field to knock in Richards. Javier then doubled to bring in Furlong and Peters to make the score 3-0.

In the bottom of the first, a series of Chapman errors helped Morello score for the Sagehens. Furlong hit a sac fly the next inning to reestablish the Bulldogs' three-run lead.

In the bottom of the fifth Morello scored her second run of the game when freshman Lindsay McCord (Lake Oswego, Ore.) doubled to right field.  The next inning, though, the Sagehen bats really got going. Bleichner walked and moved to second following a sac bunt by freshman Paige Oliver (Citrus Heights, Calif.). She advanced to third when sophomore Meagan Tokunaga (Albany, Calif.) singled. Tokunaga stole second and junior Stephanie Boden (Atlanta, Ga.), pinch hitting for Riley, laid down a bunt to bring Bleichner around and cut the Panther lead to one.

Morello then singled on the next at bat and Tokunaga rounded home to level the score. After Yee walked, a Lauren Boden (Atlanta, Ga.) double knocked in Morello. Yee then scored an insurance run following an error by the Chapman pitcher.

Morello was 3-for-4 with three runs scored in the nightcap, finishing the day with five hits in nine at-bats. Riley threw all 15 innings to get a win and a hard-luck loss.

Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action tomorrow for a road doubleheader at Whittier.