Richards Throws Another Gem as CMS Softball Earns Doubleheader Split, Wins Opening Series with Chapman

Lauren Richards threw a four-hitter to improve to 18-1 in her career in SCIAC games
Lauren Richards threw a four-hitter to improve to 18-1 in her career in SCIAC games

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Sophomore Lauren Richards allowed just four hits and one run to get the complete game victory in the nightcap as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps softball team earned a doubleheader split with Chapman on Saturday afternoon at Athena Field.

Chapman won the opening game 11-3 in six innings, before Richards took to the circle, one day after throwing six shutout innings in a 6-0 season-opening victory over the Panthers, and pitched CMS to a 5-1 win. The Athenas open their season with a 2-1 record, taking the first three-game SCIAC series, while Chapman moves to 1-4 overall and 1-2 in conference play. 

Richards now has an 18-1 record in SCIAC games in her two-year career, after going 16-1 last season. She almost went through the entire league schedule without a loss, before suffering an extra-inning defeat in relief against Whittier on the last day of the regular season. 

CMS quickly got in front in the nightcap after dropping the opener. Junior third baseman Maddie Valdez lined a single to center field to score junior left fielder Molly Spaniac with the first run of the game. With the bases loaded, junior second baseman Jessica Fox drew a walk to plate the second run, and Richards grounded out to third base to bring home the third run. 

Chapman got a run back in the top of the second, but CMS came right back in the bottom half with two more. Sophomore right fielder Natalie Dale singled and went to second on an error, then came home on an RBI triple from Spaniac to make the score 4-1. An error then brought Spaniac home to push the lead to 5-1, and end the scoring for the game as both pitchers matched zeroes over the final five innings. 

Richards worked 1-2-3 innings in the third, fourth and sixth, and emerged unscathed after a leadoff double in the fifth. The Panthers put two runners on in the seventh to bring the tying run to the on-deck circle, but Richards ended the game on a 3-2 pitch, getting Annika Briski to fly out to junior Kawai Scanlan in center field. 

Spaniac was 2-for-3 with two runs scored to lead the way in the nightcap for CMS offensively. In the opening game, sophomore catcher Jordan Bassett had a two-run double to account for two of the three CMS runs, while junior designated player Megan Perron had an RBI single. However, Chapman scored twice in the third and five times in the fourth to break it open, and then added three runs in the sixth to enforce the eight-run rule. 

CMS will be back in action next weekend for two more home doubleheaders, facing Vanguard on Saturday at noon and Pacific Lutheran on Sunday at noon.