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Natalie Dale sliding into third base

CMS Softball Takes Two Wins out of Three on Second Day of NFCA Leadoff Classic

TUCSON, Ariz. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps softball team started at 6:45 a.m., resuming a suspended game from last evening, and ended a long day with two wins on a loss on the second day of the NFCA Leadoff Classic on Saturday at Lincoln Park.

The Athenas held on for an 8-7 win over Emory & Henry to start the day after beginning the game with a 7-1 lead which carried over when the Lincoln Park curfew hit late last evening. The Athenas then rallied for a comeback 6-4 win over Babson in its first full action of the day, before finishing with a 9-1 defeat to nationally ranked Mary Hardin-Baylor. 

With the three games in the books, CMS now stands at 9-9 on the year with four losses to nationally ranked teams (two to No. 3 Linfield, one to No. 2 Christopher Newport yesterday, in addition to Mary Hardin-Baylor.

CMS led 7-1 last night behind a pair of RBI doubles from junior designated player Megan Perron, but it had to hold off an Emory & Henry comeback effort on Saturday. The Wasps got one run back when play resumed in the bottom of the third, and that was answered by an RBI single from sophomore first baseman Ananya Koneti in the fifth. 

That run would prove to be the game-winner as Emory & Henry scored three times in the fifth and twice in the seventh to make it an 8-7 game. The Wasps had runners on second and third and nobody out, but first-year pitcher Heather Shipley, who started yesterday and came on in relief in the seventh, handled a comebacker for the first out, then got a groundout to third and a popup to second to end the contest. 

Koneti finished the game 3-for-4 with an RBI, while Perron was 2-for-5 with two runs and two RBI after her two doubles on Friday. Shipley earned the win, allowing just one earned run in seven innings. 

The Babson contest saw CMS fall behind 2-0 in the top of the fifth inning after four shutout innings from sophomore Lauren Richards. The Athenas got one back in the bottom of the fifth as sophomore Natalie Dale stole third and came home when the throw got away. 

In the sixth, sophomore Lexi Singh doubled in two runs to give CMS the lead and came home on an RBI single from senior Kylie Hetzel to make it 4-2. With the bases loaded, Perron was hit by a pitch and junior Maddie Valdez drew a walk to stretch the lead to 6-2. 

Babson got two runs back in the top of the seventh, but the Athenas came up with a big double play with nobody out, with Hetzel starting it at second base, and Richards turning it at shortstop. Babson still got runners on second and third after the double play with an error and a double, but Shipley ended the game with a strikeout to get the save, preserving Singh's relief win.

Seven different players accounted for the seven hits for CMS, with Singh's two-run double in her lone at bat the big hit of the day for the Athenas. 

In the final game of the day, CMS fell into a 3-0 hole in the first inning against Mary Hardin-Baylor (12-2) and never were able to recover, giving up five additional runs in the fourth. Dale was 2-for-2 with a run scored for the Athenas, capping off her eventful day.

CMS concludes play tomorrow with two more tough contests, taking on nationally ranked Central (Iowa) and WashU on its final day of action at the Leadoff Classic.