COSTA MESA, Calif. – In the first double header of the season, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps softball team came away with a split against Vanguard. The Athenas (1-1) earned the extra inning 2-1 victory in game one but then a few defensive errors gave the Lions (2-1) the win in the nightcap, 6-1.
Junior Anna Gurr (CMC) seemed to start this season where she left off in 2016. Gurr pitched all ten innings of the season opener, allowing just four hits without a single walk. Vanguard's three-four-five hitters combined for just one of those hits in the game.
The Lions scored first in game one, but not until the fourth inning. Ariana Huffman earned the RBI as Britany Heinle scored after reaching base from a hit by pitch. Gurr stranded a runner on third to end the inning.
Sophomore Ande Troutman (CMC) got things going in the first inning with a double to left center in her first at bat as an Athena. That would be the only time CMS had a runner in scoring position until the top of the seventh.
With their backs against the wall, the Athenas needed to scratch at least one run in the top of the seventh to stay in the game. Junior Carly Roleder (CMC) legged out an infield single to reach first with one out. Then, with two outs and the game on the line, sophomore Abigail Metsch (SC) hit a monstrous triple to left field, scoring Roleder to knot the score 1-1. Junior Sarah Whitney (CMC) entered the game as a pinch hitter but ultimately stranded Metsch on third.
After seven innings of regulation, the international tiebreaker rule came into effect in the top of the eighth. Gurr and the Athena defense held Vanguard scoreless for three consecutive innings, forcing the Lions to leave at least one runner on base in each.
In the tenth, Roleder started on second base and was sacrificed over to third by sophomore pinch hitter Megan Mendez (CMC). After an infield popup for the second out, Whitney stepped up to the plate with another opportunity to be the hero. Whitney allowed Roleder to score as the short stop's throw took the first baseman off the bag, giving CMS the 2-1 advantage. The defense held onto the lead as Gurr earned her first win of 2017.
The second game of the day did not go the same way as the first. Vanguard got on the board in the second and had put up two runs by the time the Athena offense notched one run in the fifth.
CMS' pitchers only allowed five hits in the game. Junior Briana Halle (CMC) got things started with two innings of solid work and was then relieved by sophomore Chloe Amarilla (CMC) and later freshman Erin Alexander (CMC). Despite the top and the bottom of Vanguard's order having success against the CMS pitchers in game two, the middle of the lineup remained hitless. The Athenas did not have their sharpest game defensively and tallied three errors in the book.
Freshman Savannah Green (CMC) earned her first collegiate RBI in the bottom of the fifth. Classmate Hayley Giffin (CMC) walked to lead off the inning and then advanced around to third due to an error and wild pitch. Giffin easily scored on Green's single into center field for the Athenas' only run of the game.
None of Vanguard's hitters amassed more than one hit in the nightcap but the designated player, Emily Hall, was good for two RBIs in the Lion's 6-1 victory.
CMS jumps right into conference play this coming Saturday, Feb. 11 as they travel to Redlands (2-2) for a double header starting at 12 p.m.
By Emily Nordhoff
Sports Information Director
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