CLAREMONT, Calif. – At the end of a long week for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps softball team, junior ace Anna Gurr (CMC) still had the legs to throw a no-hitter against Whittier on Saturday afternoon. CMS (7-11, 5-3) and Whittier (10-10, 6-4) split the series with CMS earning the 3-0 win initially with the Poets taking game two, 5-1. The Athenas were dealt a sweep by Ithaca on the day prior, losing 5-0 and 6-3.
Against Whittier, the CMS offense exploded for three runs in the third inning. The team manufactured the runs via five hits and left just one on base after it all. Freshman Marissa Valdovinos (SC) and sophomores Reeve Grobecker (CMC) and Chloe Amarilla (CMC) sprayed a trio of hits to load up the bases for sophomore Ande Troutman (CMC). Troutman dropped in another single, this one to center field, as the Athenas went station to station, plating Valdovinos.
Senior Alexa Heydenberk (CMC) came up with yet another hit. Head coach Betsy Hipple wheeled both Grobecker and Amarilla around to score as the throw came rifling in from right field. As the ball got away from the catcher, Troutman attempted to take home, but a player backing up the plate tossed it back into the catcher to tag Troutman before she could make it home.
Those three runs were that CMS needed as Gurr relentlessly pounded the strike zone and got outs to complete the no-hitter.
Whittier returned with some offensive fire power to start off game two. Speedsters Brianna Alvarez and Sierra Rodriguez got on with infield singles but then sophomore shortstop Abigail Metsch (SC) made a diving catch on a line drive into the 5/6 hole for the first out.
The Poets scored just one run in each of the first and second innings. Amarilla came in to relieve Gurr, who also started game two, in the second inning. Whittier loaded up the bases and Amarilla was forced to pitch to the talented Mari Ahern. She forced a timely infield popup to Grobecker to end the inning and limit the damage.
Two additional noteworthy defensive plays came in the third and seventh innings. Valdovinos went deep into the gap in right center to catch a ball that the Whittier dugout was sure would drop in for extra bases. The Poets finished the inning with two more flyouts and nary a baserunner. In the top of the seventh, third baseman Carly Roleder (CMC) displayed her quick reflexes on a well-struck ball from Hayley Wishner and did not have to move her feet on the line drive.
Offensively, Grobecker and junior Briana Halle (CMC) each added two hits while the team totaled six in the game.
Ithaca was more efficient than the Athenas on Friday. Over the two games, CMS left 20 runners on base while the Bombers only tallied eight.
In the first game of the day, Ithaca capitalized on two big doubles and a trio of walks from CMS pitchers. The Bombers only scored in the fifth and sixth inning, but it was enough as Haley Congdon limited the Athenas to four hits in the complete game shutout.
Game two was rife with opportunities for CMS, but Ithaca's four early runs made the difference in the outcome.
The Athenas loaded up the bases in the second, third, and sixth. Heydenberk earned the RBI in the third inning, hitting in Grobecker who had gotten on with a single to left. CMS looked to take advantage of a new lefty pitcher in the circle for Ithaca as the defense behind her made an error in the sixth. Then, Amarilla almost broke it open with the bases loaded but shortstop Hannah Anderson laid out to keep the ball in the infield and limited CMS to just one more run.
Ultimately, the Athenas out-hit Ithaca 10-9, but were unable to pull out the win.
Up next for the Athenas is a makeup double header against Redlands from a previous rainout. CMS travels to the Bulldogs on Friday, March 24 at 2 and 4 p.m.
By Emily Nordhoff
Sports Information Director
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