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Maddie Valdez follow through after a swing

CMS Softball Rolls to 11-3 Win at Whittier

WHITTIER, Calif. -- The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps softball team broke out the bats and notched 18 hits and 11 runs in a dominating 11-3 victory in the first game of a three-game series at Whittier on Friday.

With the win, the Athenas move to 6-6 overall and improve to 3-1 in SCIAC play after taking the win in the rematch of last year's SCIAC Championship game, which was won by Whittier. The Poets fall to 3-6 and 0-1 in conference play with the loss.

Sophomore Lauren Richards (4-3) earned her fourth win of the season from the circle as she allowed just two earned runs over a complete-game 7.0-inning performance with one strikeout. The win improved her career record in SCIAC games to 18-1 (3-0 this year), with the only loss coming in relief against Whittier in the final regular season weekend of a year ago. 

The bigger story for Richards, though, was her bat as she drove in three runs on three hits, including two triples. Junior third baseman Maddie Valdez had four hits and drove in three runs for the Athenas as well. 

Richards wasted no time getting CMS on its front foot, tripling to center field in the top of the first to score sophomore first baseman Ananya Koneti, who reached on an error. Valdez then followed one out later with an RBI single, before junior center fielder Kawai Scanlan tacked on the second RBI triple of the inning for CMS to make it 3-0. 

Whittier responded with two runs in the bottom of the first to close to within 3-2 before the Athenas were able to open the lead back up in the fourth. Richards had her second RBI triple of the day to score pinch-runner Natalie Dale, and Valdez singled her in for the second time on the afternoon. Scanlan doubled to center field to score Valdez to cap off the second three-run inning for the Athenas to make it a 6-2 game.

After an unearned run in the bottom of the fourth made it 4-3, CMS scored three runs for the third time in the top of the fifth. After an RBI groundout from Koneti, Richards and junior designated player Megan Perron each had RBI singles to extend the CMS advantage to 9-3. 

Junior left fielder Molly Spaniac had an RBI single in the sixth, and Valdez had an RBI triple in the seventh for her fourth hit (and the fourth triple of the game for CMS) to close out the scoring. 

Junior right fielder Jessica Fox added a three-hit game for CMS (3-for-5), while Spaniac and Scanlan were each 2-for-4 and Perron was 2-for-5, giving CMS six players with multi-hit games. First-year Maren Summers added a pinch-hit double in her first collegiate plate appearance. 

The two teams will conclude their three-game series tomorrow with a doubleheader at Athena Field, beginning at 11:30 a.m.