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Heather Shipley earned her first win with five innings of shutout relief.
Heather Shipley earned her first win with five innings of shutout relief.

Shipley's Pitching, Perron's Hitting Help CMS Softball Salvage Split with Pacific Lutheran

CLAREMONT, Calif. - After dropping the opening game in nine innings, first-year pitcher Heather Shipley threw five innings of two-hit relief to get the win, and junior designated player Megan Perron had a home run and four RBI as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps softball team was able to come away with a split with Pacific Lutheran on Sunday afternoon at Athena Field with a 6-1 win in the nightcap in a game that was shortened to six innings due to darkness.

With the split, CMS now stands at 3-4 on the young season, including 3-2 against Division III competition after suffering a sweep to Vanguard of the NAIA yesterday. Pacific Lutheran, which won the opening game 7-5 in nine innings, now stands at 1-3 in the early part of its 2020 season. 

After the tough extra-inning defeat in the opener, Perron helped quickly set the tone in the nightcap for the Athenas. Sophomore first baseman Ananya Koneti led off the first with a single to left, and after she was sacrificed to second by sophomore right fielder Natalie Dale, Perron hit a homer over the center field fence to give the Athenas a 2-0 lead. 

Shipley was brought into the game in the top of the second with the bases loaded and nobody out and allowed only one run to score, as junior second baseman Jessica Fox got a forceout at the plate for the first out, and sophomore shortstop Lauren Richards tagged a runner out on the next ground ball and flipped to second for a double play to get CMS out of the inning. 

CMS got the run back in the bottom of the second when Dale executed a squeeze play with the bases loaded after junior center fielder Kawai Scanlan singles, and junior left fielder Molly Spaniac and senior catcher Savannah Green both walked. 

Shipley then retired the side in order in the third and worked around a catcher's interference in the fourth before Dale had an RBI single to make the score 4-1 and Perron had a two-run single to center field to push the lead to 6-1. Shipley allowed an infield single in the fifth, just her second allowed hit of the game, and then retired the side in order in the sixth before the game was called due to darkness. 

The opening game saw CMS rally from a 5-2 deficit to force extra innings with three runs in the seventh. Koneti singled and Perron walked to help load the bases, before Dale (who came on as a pinch runner) scored on a wild pitch. Valdez then drove home two runs with a single to left to tie the score at 5-5. Green singled in the bottom of the eighth and was left stranded, before Pacific Lutheran used a pair of RBI doubles in the eighth to come away with the win. 

Valdez was 2-for-5 with two RBI in the opener, while Koneti was 4-for-5 and Fox was 2-for-4 with an RBI. In the nightcap, Perron was 2-for-3 with four RBI, Dale was 1-for-1 with two RBI and two sacrifices, and Valdez had her second two-hit effort by going 2-for-3. Shipley allowed only one two hits and did not walk a batter in her five innings to get her first collegiate win, throwing 42 of her 65 pitches for strikes.

CMS will be back in action next week for two more home doubleheaders, taking on St. Katherine's on Friday at noon and Linfield on Saturday at noon. Linfield last visited Athena Field a year ago for the NCAA Regionals, where the Wildcats emerged victorious in a three-team regional with CMS and Whittier.