The CMS Athenas opened their 2009 season with a strong double-header sweep over rival Pomona-Pitzer winning 9-0 and 6-3. After a week of rainy, gloomy weather, the clouds cleared just long enough for the contests to take place under sunny skies.
In game one, CMS Erika Weingart (SR, Brea) and opposition pitcher Melanie Gularte threw four scoreless innings. While the Athenas left five runners on base and hit several balls hard, they were unable to string together a run of any sort. In the top of the fifth, however, that would change. Lisa Gutierrez (SR, Alhambra) led off the top half with a hard single up the middle. Michelle Harvey (SO, San Diego) sacrificed her to second. Megan Morris (FR, Ridgewood, NJ) singled setting up runners at first and third for Gizelle Pera (SO, Marymount). Pera, returning from ACL reconstruction surgery over the summer, delivered with a gap shot double plating both Gutierrez and Morris. Melissa Munoz (SO, Union City) swapped spots with Pera with her own RBI double. Continuing the impressive display of offense, Katerina Yale (SO, Yorba Linda), Emily Nordhoff (FR, Seattle), and Jess Vaughn (SR, Placerville) all pounded out hits. Yale and Nordhoff also scored in an inning that produced 6 runs on 7 hits, while leaving bases loaded.
The top of the sixth was more of the same rattling off three runs on three hits including a solo shot from Munoz and a two RBI double from Emily Lopez (FR, Fresno) to push the score to its final tally 9-0.
The Athenas executed flawlessly on defense recording zero errors. Erika Weingart led the team's achievement scattering three hits across six innings in a commanding opening day, shut-out performance.
In game two, CMS scored early and often plating runs in the first, second, third, sixth, and seventh innings. Strong offensive performances were turned in by Michelle Harvey going 3 for 5 on the day with two RBIs and a run scored and Jessica Vaughn who went 2 for 3 on the day with an RBI, run scored and a walk.
Starting pitcher Julia Cruz (JR, Tustin) led the defense through four and 2/3 innings fanning five, walking one, while giving up six hits and three runs. Late in the bottom of the fifth, Rebecca Gularte (FR, Sunnyvale) entered the game in relief and quickly retired the side. In her collegiate pitching debut, the young Gularte handled the pressure like a seasoned veteran allowing just one hit and zero runs in facing 10 batters over two and a third innings to close out the game and sweep.
The Athenas are back in action this weekend. On Friday, they host La Sierra University in a single game at 2:30pm. Then on Saturday, they travel to SCIAC rival University of Redlands for what promises to be an exciting double-header pitting the reigning #1 and #2 teams in conference. Game times Saturday are 12:00 and 2:00 pm.