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Giselle Lai pulls into third base with a 7th inning triple (photo by Gabi Ricciardi)
Giselle Lai pulls into third base with a 7th inning triple (photo by Gabi Ricciardi)

CMS Softball Drops Close 2-1 Decision to Chapman, Enters Final Day in Three-Way Tie for First

CLAREMONT, Calif. - Giselle Lai had an RBI triple with two outs in the seventh, but Chapman's two runs in the top of the seventh held up as the Panthers took a 2-1 win over the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps softball team on Friday at Athena Field.

The loss drops CMS to 23-11 overall and 14-5 in the SCIAC, while Chapman moves up to 14-5 in the SCIAC with the win. Redlands came into the day tied for first with CMS with the tiebreaker, but fell 4-3 to Cal Lutheran, resulting in a three-way tie heading into tomorrow's final day. 

Redlands would have the tiebreaker in any tie between the teams, after taking two out of three from both CMS and Chapman. The Athenas, though, could still take the top seed and the right to host the conference tournament if it sweeps Chapman tomorrow, and Redlands drops a game to Cal Lutheran. 

The score was tied 0-0 heading into the seventh as Jade Johnson of CMS and Rose Malen of Chapman were locked in a pitcher's duel. Johnson had a couple of key strikeouts along the way, including leaving the bases loaded in the fifth, but Redlands was able to get two unearned runs off her in the top of the seventh to take the lead. 

With one out in the bottom half, Emma Suh singled down the left field line, and one out later, Lai tripled to the wall in straightaway center to leave the Athenas 60 feet away from the tie. However, Malen was able to bounce back for the final out to get the win. 

Suh and Destiny Garcia were each 2-for-3 for CMS in the loss, while Johnson struck out four and allowed seven hits and no earned runs in her complete game. 

The two teams will complete their three-game series tomorrow with a doubleheader at Chapman, before both will head to next week's SCIAC Postseason Tournament, at a site to be determined tomorrow.