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Paige Zimmerman saves a run with a diving catch in center (photo by Eva Fernandez)
Paige Zimmerman saves a run with a diving catch in center (photo by Eva Fernandez)

CMS Battles Hope International in 4-0 Defeat in Season Opener

CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps softball team opened the season against a Hope International team that already had six games under its belt (with no earned runs allowed), and battled the Royals for much of the contest before eventually falling 4-0 on Saturday at Athena Field.

CMS opens its season at 0-1, while Hope International, ranked No. 19 in NAIA, improves to 6-1 with six shutout wins and just a 1-0 defeat on an unearned run. 

Pitcher Allie Puente was responsible for most of the dominance for the Royals, coming into the game with a 3-1 record, 45 strikeouts and only three walks in 22 innings. But right from the get-go, the Athenas proved ready for the battle as Sophia Nguyen opened the season with a walk. 

Puente did end up with a three-hit shutout, but struck out only three, as CMS consistently battled with two strikes and put the ball in play all afternoon, including a handful of loud outs. Madison Gonzalez hit a double for the Athenas, as well as a sharp lineout to left, while Rachel Sapirstein and Destiny Garcia each had singles.

CMS also was sharp on defense for an early-season game, making several standout plays in the field, including a diving catch from Paige Zimmerman in center field to save a run. 

The Athenas will be back in action on Saturday when they travel to Redlands for non-conference games against Chapman and the host Bulldogs.