CLAREMONT, CA — Liz Rodarte pitched a gem, the Sagehens exploded for four runs in the bottom of the first, and that was all the Pomona-Pitzer Softball team needed, beating rival Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 4-2 Saturday afternoon.
Season Impact: The Sagehens improve to 5-7 overall and 3-5 in SCIAC play. The Athenas fall to 5-5 overall and 4-2 in the conference.
From the Coach: "It was absolutely huge. I was so fired up, so excited that we came out hard, we scored first," said Sagehens Head Coach JoAnne Ferguson. "It means a lot. This team has a ton of heart, a ton of fight. I'm really fired up to continue in SCIAC play."
With the bases loaded after the first three Sagehens reached base safely, Kelsey Buchanan took advantage of a wild pitch, sliding past home to give Pomona-Pitzer the opening lead.
With the bases loaded against after Izzy Deatherage walked, Olivia Campion grounded out to third base, but allowed Kristen Hong to cross the plate for a RBI and a 2-0 lead. Emily Rockhill capped off the inning with a single to left field that scored Deatherage and Bianca Cockrell to extend the lead to 4-0.
Ace Liz Rodarte pitched a complete game in the circle. The sophomore finished the contest with four strikeouts and zero earned runs. She currently ranks second in the SCIAC with 35 strikeouts. She leads the Sagehens in hits with 15, RBI with six, and batting average at .429.
"Liz is a gamer," said Ferguson. "We want her to have the ball, we want the ball hit to her, and we want her up in key situations. She's going to get the job done. We want her up when the game is on the line."
Defensive Highlights: With one out in the top of the second, Marya Ornelas made a beautiful sliding catch in center field to save a potential double.
The next inning Rockhill made a spectacular grab with a runner on first and no outs. The first baseman snagged a hard line drive hit at her then stepped on first for the double play.
Game One: Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 4, Pomona-Pitzer 2
After the Athenas rallied in the top of the fourth for a three-run inning, pinch hitter Kelsey Buchanan came in clutch for the Sagehens in the bottom of the inning. The junior hit a shot to left center scoring Izzy Deatherage and Liz Rodarte to cut the Athenas' lead to 4-2.
But the Sagehens would come no closer, falling to CMS in the opening game of the day. Pomona-Pitzer had a shot to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. With Rodarte on second base after a double and Bianca Cockrell on third, Deatherage hit a hard line drive to right center. But the Athenas center fielder was able to get under it to end the game.
Cockrell got the start in the circle, pitching three and a third innings. Freshman Alondra Reynoso stepped in and pitched three and a third innings of relief recording three strikeouts.
Next Game: The Sagehens compete next on Monday, March 13 in a non-conference doubleheader against Denison beginning at noon.