Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Giselle Lai hit .414 during the regular season (photo by Eva Fernandez)
Giselle Lai hit .414 during the regular season (photo by Eva Fernandez)

Lai Named SCIAC Softball Newcomer of the Year, Five Athenas Earn All-League

CLAREMONT, Calif. - First-year center fielder Giselle Lai of the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps softball team earned the SCIAC Softball Newcomer of the Year Award in a vote of the league's coaches, the conference office announced today.

The Athenas had five All-SCIAC honorees in all, as Lai was joined on the first team by pitcher Jade Johnson, third baseman Rachel Sapirstein and utility player Emma Suh, while Destiny Garcia earned a spot on the second team at second base. 

Lai hit .414 on the season for CMS, with a team leading 28 RBI. She had 15 extra-base hits, totaling six doubles, seven triples and two home runs, one of which was of the inside-the-park variety. She had 13 multi-hit games on the year, including five in a row recently, covering all three games of the Pomona-Pitzer series and the final two against Whittier. 

Johnson was a 10-game winner for the Athenas in the circle, finishing the season with a 10-4 record and a 1.96 ERA. She was twice named the SCIAC Pitcher of the Week, once after throwing five shutout innings to get the win against nationally ranked Central (Iowa) at the Tucson Invitational, and once after winning all three games of the Whittier series, including a shutout in the first game of the Saturday doubleheader, followed by 6.2 innings of relief to get the win the nightcap. 

Sapirstein led CMS with a .465 batting average during the regular season, to go along with 24 RBI. She had 16 multi-hit games, including four 3-for-3 efforts, one of which came against nationally ranked Central (Iowa). She also had a .946 fielding percentage at third base, with only six errors in 32 games played. 

Suh saw action at both second base and in right field for the Athenas this season, and batted .274, including .306 in conference games, while committing only one error all season in 100 chances for a .990 fielding percentage. She had a slow start at the plate, but came on strong at the end of the year, including batting 5-for-9 against both fellow SCIAC regular season champions (Redlands and Chapman). 

Garcia missed some time in the middle of the season with an injury, but bolstered the lineup significantly when she returned, as she now stands at .393 at the plate on the year. She has had three-hit games against Redlands, Chapman, Pomona-Pitzer and Cal Lutheran, and hit 5-for-11 in a key sweep of Whittier. 

CMS opens SCIAC Tournament play on Friday, when it takes on Chapman at 3:30 p.m. in an opening round game held at Redlands.