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Undefeated after first day, Athenas advance to SCIAC Tournament championship game

Kaylilani Minami (Photo by John Valenzuela)

REDLANDS, Calif. - After the first day of the SCIAC Postseason Tournament hosted by Redlands University, the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas remain the only undefeated team. In their first game, No. 2 seed CMS beat No. 3 seed Chapman 6-0. CMS then met No. 1 seed Redlands in the winner-winner matchup and came back for a 5-4 walk-off win.

The Athenas jumped out to an early lead and ultimately scored in four of their six innings while blanking Chapman throughout. The offensive attack was led by sophomore Carlene Roberts and sophomore Tara Robinson. Roberts went 2-for-2 with four RBI and Robinson was 3-for-3 with three runs scored.

Junior Hayley Schultz and freshman Kaylilani Minami combined for a spectacular shutout performance collectively allowing only five Panther hits and striking out six.

Chapman's Amber Perez doubled in the top of the second while Lisa Perez was 2-for-3 in the game.

Box Score: CMS 6, Chapman 0

In the second game of the day, the Athenas faced the Redlands Bulldogs. In Redlands' first game, they beat No. 4 seed Whittier 7-4.

The Bulldogs, as the visitors, quickly got on the board and scored four runs in the first five innings. Redlands' hurler Kaitlyn Hooper limited the Athenas' offense to just two hits until an explosive sixth inning.

CMS started the bottom of the sixth at the top of the order and successively got sophomores Janelle Shiozaki, Tara Robinson and Brooklyn Robinson on base. Sophomore Mikayla O'Neal broke it open with single to left field, scoring Brooklyn Robinson. With the bases still loaded, senior Morgan Beltz hit a double deep to right center to clear the bases and tie the score at 4-4.

Minami got the rock in the fifth inning and demonstrated to all that she earned the SCIAC Rookie of the Year award. She pitched three innings and managed Redlands' top hitters in the meat of their order especially in the top of the seventh inning.

In the bottom of the seventh, the top of the line up set the table again for sophomore Katie Savard to hit a two-out single through the right side to score Shiozaki from second and win the game in walk-off fashion. Savard was 3-for-3 at the plate and the rock of the Athena infield at first base.

Box Score: CMS 5, Redlands 4

On the day, CMS scored 10 of their 11 runs with two outs.

CMS (27-12) advances to the tournament championship game at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 3 against the winner of the match-up between Redlands and Whittier. The Athenas look to "three-peat" after taking home the SCIAC Tournament Championship in both 2012 and 2013.

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