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Molly Spaniac swinging the bat
Molly Spaniac's hit helped give CMS a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth

CMS Softball Battles No. 2 Christopher Newport Into Late Innings Before Falling 7-3

TUCSON, Ariz. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps softball team put a scare into No. 2 Christopher Newport before falling 7-3 in its first game of the NFCA Leadoff Classic, held at Lincoln Park on Friday evening.

In the second game of the day, the Athenas hold a 7-1 lead over Emory & Henry in a game that was suspended at the 10:30 p.m. drop dead time and will resume tomorrow morning at 8:00 a.m. 

CMS led 1-0 over No. 2 Christopher Newport through four innings, and then led 3-2 through five, before the Captains scored four times in the sixth to take control. Junior catcher Maddie Valdez accounted for the only run in the first four innings when she singled in the second and came home after a sacrifice from junior Jessica Fox and two straight wild pitches.

After Christopher Newport went ahead 2-1 in the top of the fifth, the Athenas scored twice in the bottom of the fifth on a two-out, two-run error. Junior left fielder Molly Spaniac helped set it up with a two-out single to advance a runner to third, moving in behind the play to second on the throw. When the next grounder from sophomore first baseman Ananya Koneti was mishandled, Spaniac raced around from second with the go-ahead run to put CMS back in front momentarily. 

Bailey Roberts then had the big swing of the day for the Captains, though, as she hit a two-run homer in the sixth to put her team back in front 4-3. Caroline Helmer and Caitlin Abernethy added RBI doubles to extend the lead to 6-3, and Kaitlyn Hasty added a solo homer in the seventh to close out the scoring. 

CMS was held to three hits by the Christopher Newport pitching. Sophomore Lauren Richards threw five strong innings, but took the loss after surrendering the homer to Roberts for her last batter faced of the day. 

After finishing the game with Emory & Henry (which has included a pair of RBI doubles from junior designated player Megan Perron), the Athenas will be back in action for two more games tomorrow, facing Babson and Mary Hardin-Baylor, before closing out on Sunday against Central (Iowa) and WashU.