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Emily Nutting drove in four runs for CMS (photo by Caelyn Smith)
Emily Nutting drove in four runs for CMS (photo by Caelyn Smith)

CMS Softball Takes Series from Occidental with 8-0 Win

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Lauren Richards threw a three-hit shutout and was 4-for-4 at the plate, and Emily Nutting was 2-for-3 with four RBI, as the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps softball team won the rubber game of a three-game series with Occidental 8-0 in six innings on Sunday afternoon at Athena Field.

With the win, CMS gets back to .500 at 13-13 overall and moves to 6-3 in SCIAC with its third straight series win. Occidental falls to 8-17 overall and 1-5 in league play with the loss. 

In all three SCIAC weekends, CMS has dropped the first game and come back to win the next two, although the first two times the Athenas dropped a game on Friday and swept a doubleheader on Saturday. This time, games one and two were played on Saturday, with CMS winning the nightcap 2-1 in extra innings on an RBI double from Richards. 

Richards carried that momentum over on Sunday, retiring the side in order in the first with two strikeouts, and then hitting a one-out single in the bottom of the first to start a four-run rally. Paige Zimmerman followed with a single up the middle, and a two-out error kept the inning alive. Nutting then delivered a bases-clearing double to right-center field to put CMS ahead 3-0, before coming home to score on an RBI single from Koneti to give CMS the quick 4-0 lead. 

The last time Richards pitched, she came away with a no-hitter in a five-inning win over Willamette on Friday, and surrendered her first hit of the weekend on a grounder up the middle in the second. The score remained unchanged, though, until the bottom of the fifth, when Nutting singled through the right side for her fourth RBI of the day to make the score 5-0. 

The only trouble Richards faced came in the top of the sixth, when Occidental led off with two straight singles, and a sac bunt put runners on second and third with one out and the heart of the order up. Richards responded, though, with back-to-back strikeouts to leave both runners in scoring position and keep CMS ahead 5-0. 

The Athenas made sure those were her last pitches of the game with three runs in the bottom of the sixth to enforce the eight-run rule. Emma Suh drew a leadoff walk, and Richards responded with her fourth hit of the game (giving her more hits at the plate than she allowed in the circle). Paige Zimmerman singled down the right field line to plate Suh and make it a 6-0 lead, and Abby Thompson hit a sacrifice fly to center to bring home the seventh run. Ari Livi then finished it off with a single up the middle to score Zimmerman and make the final 8-0. 

Ananya Koneti was also perfect on the day for CMS, going 2-for-2 with a walk, while Zimmerman was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI. 

CMS will be back in action this weekend for a three-game series with La Verne, playing a home game on Friday at 3 p.m. and then traveling to face the Leopards for a Saturday doubleheader.