CLAREMONT, Calif. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps softball team is making their second trip to the NCAA Tournament in the last three years and eighth overall appearance in program history. The Athenas will head north to McMinnville, Ore. for the Regional hosted by Linfield College where they will face both No. 7 Linfield and No. 12 George Fox University.
The Athenas will open up on Friday against George Fox at 3 p.m. before turning around to take on Linfield at 5:30 p.m. The outcome of both games will determine the schedule for the rest of the weekend.
CMS faced Linfield back on Feb. 16, earning a convincing 7-0 win over the Wildcats. The offense exploded for 15 hits, including a 4-4 performance from Reeve Grobecker (CMC), and three hits each from Chloe Amarilla (CMC) and Kawai Scanlan (SC). Anna Gurr (CMC) dominated from the circle, striking out eight in seven innings while not walking a batter.
In the Athenas' last NCAA Tournament appearance in 2016, they faced both George Fox and Linfield before falling just short of advancing. After splitting with George Fox in 2016, CMS battled their way back to the face Linfield in the Regional Final. Needing to beat the Wildcats twice, the Athenas took Game One 3-0, but fell 6-5 in Game Two in extra innings.
Schedule for the weekend:
Friday, May 11
Game 1: George Fox vs. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 3 p.m.
Game 2: Linfield vs. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 12
Game 3: Linfield vs. George Fox, 4 p.m.
Game 4: See scenarios below, 6:30 p.m.
Scenario 1 (If two teams remain after Game 3)
Game 4: Two remaining teams play at 6:30 p.m. If the undefeated team wins, that team wins the Regional Tournament and advances to the Super Regional Tournament; if the 1-1 team wins, then Game 5 is played on Sunday and the winner advances to the Super Regional Tournament.
Scenario 2 (If three teams remain tied at 1-1 after Game 3)
Game 4: No. 2 vs. No. 3, 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 13
Game 5: No. 1 vs. winner of Game 4, 3 p.m., if necessary (winner of Game 5 advances to the Super Regional Tournament)
See below for a snapshot of the three teams in McMinnville this weekend:
Location: Claremont, Calif.
Head Coach: Gina Oaks Garcia (1st Season)
NCAA Appearances: 8th
2017-18 Record: 31-12, 17-11 SCIAC
Last NCAA Result: 2016, NCAA Regional Final: Fell to Linfield 6-5 (8 innings)
Last 15 Games
4/7 - at Whittier (DH) - 11-3 W/3-2 L
4/13 - Chapman (DH) - 7-0 W/3-1 W
4/14 - at Occidental (DH) - 6-1 W/7-1 W
4/21 - La Verne (DH) - 4-0 W/8-6 W
4/27 - Pomona-Pitzer (DH) - 3-0 L/5-1 W
4/28 - at Cal Lutheran (DH) - 1-0 W/9-1 L
5/4 - at La Verne (SCIAC Tournament) - 2-0 W
5/5 - (N) Pomona-Pitzer (SCIAC Tournament) - 2-1 W
5/6 - at La Verne (SCIAC Championship) - 2-0 W
About the Athenas:
The Athenas swept their way through the SCIAC Tournament, needing only three games to earn their fifth title in program history. Led by Anna Gurr in the circle, CMS defeated top-seeded La Verne 2-0 to open the tournament. The fourth-seeded Athenas then took down Pomona-Pitzer 2-1, surrendering their only run of the tournament, before beating La Verne 2-0 in the Championship game. Gurr tossed all 21 innings without giving up an earned run and walked just two batters.
|No. 12 George Fox University Bruins
Location: Newberg, Ore.
Head Coach: Jessica Hollen (10th Season)
NCAA Appearances: 2nd
2017-18 Record: 35-9, 24-4 Northwest Conference
Last NCAA Result: 2016, NCAA Regional: defeated by Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 3-1
Last 14 Games
3/31 - Puget Sound (DH) - 9-0 W/9-1 W
4/9 - at Pacific Lutheran (DH) - 5-0 W/1-0 L
4/12 - Pacific Lutheran (DH) - 3-2 W/7-3 L4/14 - Willamette (DH) - 10-0 W/11-2 W
4/16 - at Willamette (DH) - 11-0 W/14-5 W
4/20 - Pacific (Ore.) (NWC Tournament) - 10-2 L
4/21 - Whitworth (NWC Tournament) - 10-3 W
4/21 - Pacific (Ore.) (NWC Tournament) - 7-2 W
4/22 - Linfield (NWC Championship) - 9-1 L
About the Bruins:
George Fox is 35-9 coming into the tournament and recently had nine All-NWC selections. Madison Sorensen was named Pitcher of the Year and Jessica Hollen was named Coach of the Year. The Bruins set a new program-best for wins in a single-season and their first-ever share of the Regular Season NWC Championship. They fell to Linfield in the NWC Tournament Championship Game 9-1 in six innings.
Sorensen earned NWC Pitcher of the Year after leading the Bruins and the conference in ERA (1.71), wins (22), strikeouts (155) and tied for first in saves (3). She is also tied for 12th in the nation in strikeouts and third in the nation in strikeout-to-walk ratio (12.82). She concluded the regular season as the career record holder in career wins, career saves, career appearances, and career strikeouts. Catcher Alyssa Gonzalez earned First Team All-NWC honors after playing all 44 games for the Bruins behind the plate. She was second in the conference in runners caught stealing (10). Also on the mound for the Bruins, Abbie Bergerson was second in the conference in ERA (2.58) and tallied nine wins on the season.
|No. 7 Linfield College Wildcats
Location: McMinnville, Ore.
Head Coach: Jackson Vaughan (16th Season)
NCAA Appearances: 14th
2017-18 Record: 35-8, 24-4 Northwest Conference
Last NCAA Result: 2016, NCAA Super Regional: defeated by UT Tyler 2-0
Last 15 Games
3/30 - at Whitworth (DH) - 6-1 W/10-5 L
3/31 - at Whitworth (DH) - 15-6 W/5-4 W
4/8 - Pacific (Ore.) (DH) - 7-2 W/7-1 W
4/9 - Pacific (Ore.) (DH) - 9-8 W/6-0 L
4/14 - Lewis & Clark (DH) - 8-5 W/8-5 W
4/17 - at Lewis & Clark (DH) - 9-1 W/12-3 W
4/20 - (N) Whitworth - 5-1 W
4/21 - (N) Pacific (Ore.) - 9-7 W
4/22 - at Linfield (NWC Championship) - 9-1 W
About the Wildcats:
Currently riding a seven-game winning streak, the Wildcats advanced to the NCAA postseason for the 14th time in the last 15 seasons after defeating George Fox 9-1 in the NWC Tournament Championship to earn the automatic bid. Linfield completed its run through the NWC Tournament with a perfect 3-0 record, scoring 23 runs in wins over Whitworth, Pacific (Ore.), and George Fox.
Linfield landed nine players on the All-NWC list, including Player of the Year Melanie Oord. The senior ranked in the NWC's top 10 in nearly every hitting category. She led the NWC in RBI (46), walks (22) and on-base percentage (.589). Oord hit .462 this spring with 55 hits, 33 runs scored, 12 doubles and seven home runs while leading Linfield to the NWC regular-season co-championship and NWC Tournament title. Senior catcher Emily Allen hit .430 during the regular season with 58 hits, 42 RBI, 47 runs scored, 15 doubles and five home runs. Last year's NWC Player of the Year, Cheyenne Fletcher hit .396 this spring and scored a conference-best 60 runs. She had 31 RBI with eight homers and a .485 on-base percentage.
Missing out on the NCAA Tournament last season, the Wildcats advanced to the NCAA Super Regionals in 2016 after defeating CMS 6-5 in eight innings in the Regional Final. They fell to UT Tyler, the 2016 National Champions, in the Super Regional.
Please note that portions of this preview have been borrowed from the George Fox and Linfield athletics websites.