THOUSAND OAKS, CA. – The Pomona-Pitzer Softball Team made history on Saturday afternoon, achieving their first 20-win season since 2012 with a victory over Cal Lutheran. The Sagehens took game one of the series with a commanding 9-1 mercy-rule victory (6 innings) over the Regals, followed by a close 4-3 victory in the second game.
Season Impact: The Sagehens improve to a 21-6-1 record overall and 13-3-1 in the SCIAC. They remain in first place in the conference.
Pomona-Pitzer def. Cal Lutheran 9-1 (6 Innings)
A stellar pitching performance by Liz Rodarte and an explosive sixth inning by the offense propelled the Sagehens to a dominating victory in the first game of the doubleheader. Rodarte pitched six innings and gave up one run while striking out three for her 12th win of the season. At the plate, the junior went 2-for-4 with a home run, two runs, and four RBIs while Baleigh McCuskey went 2-for-3 with two runs.
The Hens struck first in the top of the third inning when McCuskey lined a single to center and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Kristin Hong followed with a single to advance McCuskey to third and two batters later, Rodarte crushed a home run to give the Hens a 3-0 lead.
Later with two outs and a runner on third in the top of the fourth inning, Karina Falkstrom hit a single up the middle to add to the lead 4-0.
The Regals tried to threaten in the bottom of the fifth, as Olivia Leyva singled to right with two outs. She attempted to steal second at the following at-bat, but catcher Ireland threw a laser to Izzy Deatherage for the out to end the inning.
The Hens rallied again in the top of the sixth inning when Hong came to the plate with one out and the bases loaded. She demonstrated her patience by drawing a walk to bring in one run. Later with two outs and the bases loaded, Rodarte laced a single through the left side of the field to give the Hens a 6-0 lead. Deatherage followed with a base-clearing double to right center to make it 9-0. The Regals tried to prevent the mercy-rule, as Brittany Workman hit a two-out RBI double to cut the lead 9-1, but Rodarte struck out the final batter to clinch the early victory.
Pomona-Pitzer def. Cal Lutheran 4-3
Emily Rockhill pitched 2.1 scoreless innings of relief for her first win while Rodarte followed with two scoreless innings and two strikeouts for her second save of the season. Karina Falkstrom went 2-for-2 with a home run while Rockhill also hit a perfect 2-for-2 with a run scored.
The Sagehens wasted little time to get on board when Rodarte smacked a double down the left field line with a runner on first to bring in the first run of the game. After Deatherage hit a single to put runners on the corner, Makensey Druckman hit a sacrifice fly in Rodarte and take a 2-0 lead.
In the following inning, with one out, Falkstrom hit a solo shot to make it 3-0.
However, the Regals struck back in the bottom of the second. Alondra Reynoso ran into trouble with one out and runners on second and third. After striking out the next batter, Reynoso gave up an RBI single to Marissa Alfaia.
At the bottom of the third, the Regals rallied again, as Kendall Marinesi hit an RBI single to cut the deficit to one. With two outs and runners on first and second, Olivia Serrano hit an RBI single to tie the game at three apiece.
Rockhill was successful in relief after coming in the bottom of the third. In the bottom of the fifth inning, she ran into some trouble after loading up the bases with two outs. However, she managed to induce a groundout to third base to end the inning.
The Hens took back the lead in the top of the sixth inning. Druckman smacked a leadoff double and was pinch ran by Kendall Kipper. Rockhill smacked a single up the middle, and Kipper managed to reach third and raced towards home. Unfortunately, she was thrown out from right field, but Rockhill advanced to second on the throw. Rockhill advanced to third on a passed ball and pinch-hitter Haylee Sindt hit an RBI groundout to give Pomona-Pitzer the 4-3 lead.
Liz Rodarte came in relief in the bottom of the sixth and retired six straight batters to close the game, striking out two and not surrendering a single hit.
Up Next: The Sagehens will host Redlands tomorrow for a doubleheader on Sunday April 8 starting at 12 p.m. The Sagehens will be collaborating with Strikeout Cancer to raise donations for the Rally For Ryker Foundation to fight T-ALL Leukemia.