Seniors Lead Athenas in Explosive SCIAC Sweeps
In an offensively explosive weekend, the CMS Athenas put up 36 runs in four games. Equally impressive, they allowed only 9. The 9 runs-per-game average and the 2.25 runs-per-game-allowed typified 2012 Athena softball at its finest.
Action started on Friday as CMS hosted cross-campus rivals Pomona-Pitzer. A miscue in the top of the third allowed the Sagehens to rally and go ahead 4-1. The Athenas responded and quickly narrowed the gap to one with clutch baserunning, small ball and hitting.
After knotting the game at four in the bottom of the sixth, the Athenas gave up a solo home run in the next frame creating tremendous excitement going in to the bottom of the seventh inning. Foreshadowing the four games to be played on the weekend, the Senior Class went to work.
Fresno senior Emily Lopez (pictured below) blasted a two strike pitch up the middle to start the inning. Fellow senior Amanda Banducci promptly sacrificed her to second to bring up yet another senior, Rebecca King (pictured right). The Bellevue, WA catcher, swinging a hot bat all day, jacked a 1-1 pitch over the left field fence cementing a lifetime memory and earning her first collegiate walk-off home run. There was no-doubt as the ball flew off her bat like a rocket launched grenade.
In game two, the Athenas went to work quickly. The squad scored in four of six innings behind senior Rebecca Gularte and completed the sweep 6-1.
King and Lopez led all hitters. King's line on the day showed an impressive 4 for 7, with 2 runs scored and 4 RBIs. Lopez also went 4 for 7, scoring 3 runs. Senior Megan Morris continued to pound out the hits as well going 4 for 6 with 2 RBIs on the twin bill.
The next day took the Athenas to Occidental College for more double-header action. Capitalizing on the momentum of their sweep of Pomona-Pitzer, the sticks got going immediately. In their initial frame, Emily Lopez blasted her first of two home runs on the day over dead center to kick start what would become a four game offensive showcase leaving her weekend's line at: 8 for 13 (.615), 7 runs scored and 4 RBIs.
Lopez' numbers led her soon-to-be-graduating class of 2012 going 4 for 6, scoring 4 runs and driving in 4 on the day … but not by much. Megan Morris impressed all with a laser shot home run, a frozen-rope double in an equally amazing 3 for 6, 4 runs scored and 1 RBI day. Not to be outdone, Seattle senior Emily Nordhoff also went 4 for 6 on the day with two doubles, 3 runs scored and an RBI.
On the day against Occidental, the senior quintuplet of Lopez, King, Nordhoff, Morris and Banducci went 17 for 30 (.567), accounting for 15 runs scored and 10 RBIs.
On the weekend, during the two sweeps, seniors Lopez, King, Nordhoff and Morris amassed a staggering: .562 (27 for 48); scoring 19 times themselves and driving in another 14 runs.
Pitchers Rebecca Gularte and Hayley Schultz continued to lead the defensive side of the ledger as they both hold ERAs of less than 2.0 in conference play.
The Athenas are back in action this weekend with back-to-back SCIAC double-headers hosting La Verne Friday at 2pm and heading to Whittier on Saturday for a 12pm start.