CMS Softball Opens 2020 Campaign with 6-0 Win at Chapman

Ananya Koneti was 4-for-4 in the season opener (photo by Daniel Addison)
Ananya Koneti was 4-for-4 in the season opener (photo by Daniel Addison)

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Sophomore first baseman Ananya Koneti was 4-for-4 with three RBI and sophomore pitcher Lauren Richards tossed six shutout innings to get the win, as the CMS softball team opened up defense of its 2019 regular season SCIAC title with a 6-0 win over Chapman on Friday afternoon.

The Athenas open up their season with a 1-0 record, while Chapman slips to 0-3 after dropping a non-league doubleheader to Vanguard earlier in the week. 

CMS wasted no time in taking the lead as junior left fielder Molly Spaniac opened up by reaching on an error, and Koneti pulled a pitch to right field for an RBI triple. One batter later, junior designated player Megan Perron singled home Koneti to give the Athenas a 2-0 lead before their first out of the season. 

The score held until the fifth inning, when Spaniac led off with a single up the middle, and Koneti followed with a double to left center, with pinch-runner Natalie Dale racing around with an insurance run on an error in the outfield. 

In the top of the sixth, CMS was able to effectively salt the game away with three runs. Sophomore shortstop Alexa Schulten walked and junior center fielder Kawai Scanlan was hit by a pitch to set the table. After an error plated one run, Koneti capped off her 4-for-4 day with a two-out RBI single to stretch the lead to 6-0. 

Richards was in control most of the way in the circle, retiring the first five batters before allowing a two-out double in the second, leaving the runner stranded. She had her toughest jam in the fifth with the score still 3-0, as Chapman had two singles with one out and sacrificed the runners into scoring position with two outs, but Richards got the final out on a grounder to senior Kylie Hetzel at second base.

First-year pitcher Salina Muñoz came on in relief to throw the seventh inning for her first action of her career, working around a two-out single to combine for the shutout. Perron finished 3-for-4 for the Athenas, as she and Koneti combined for seven of the nine CMS hits on the day. 

CMS and Chapman will compete their three-game series tomorrow with a doubleheader at Athena Field, beginning at 12 p.m.