3-0 Shutout Wins Send Athena Softball To SCIAC Tournament Final Against Redlands Or La Verne

Hayley Schultz
Hayley Schultz

Day 1 Recap courtesy of Redlands Sports Information

The excitement of the 2013 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Postseason Tournament began on Friday, with four competitive games. The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps softball team posted an undefeated showing with wins over Chapman University (3-0) and the University of La Verne (3-0) to earn a spot in Saturday's tournament final. After splitting results on Friday, the University of Redlands and the University of La Verne look forward to meeting in the losers' bracket semifinal tomorrow at 11 a.m., with the winner advancing to face the Athenas at 1:30 p.m. Saturday's games take place at the Redlands Softball "Field of Dreams." 

Fans may also follow the action via live stats.

After dropping both contests on Friday, Chapman University exits its first ever SCIAC Postseason Tournament with a 24-16 overall record.

Game 4: No. 2 CMS vs. No. 4 La Verne
After posting early-round victories, CMS and La Verne battled it out in the day's fourth game, with the Athenas prevailing by a score of 3-0.

CMS put up two runs in the first inning with two outs, as Mikayla O'Neal doubled to right field to plate Marie Bradvica and Katie Savard. With two outs, Savard was walked and then Bradvica hammered an infield single to the shortstop, placing two runners on for O'Neal.

However, La Verne refused to go away and created multiple chances to score throughout the game. One such opportunity came in the third inning with Amanda Copas on second and Danielle Vela on third with only one out. However, CMS' ace, Hayley Schultz, got out of the tight situation by forcing a pop-up and ground-out on the subsequent batters. 

Katherine Kibbe did her part for the Leopards as well, getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the fourth frame.

While both teams kept knocking at the door, CMS finally managed to push one across in the fifth inning.  After Harmony Palmer singled down the right-field line and then advanced to second on a passed ball, Savard fired off an RBI-single, forcing a pitching change for the Leopards.  Rachel Hong stepped in and closed out the inning unharmed, walking one and striking out three.

CMS' Schultz went the distance for the second time in the day, earning her 24th win of the season.

Kibbe suffered the loss after dispersing seven hits while allowing three runs.  Hong stepped in for the final three innings, fanning six in the process.

Palmer connected on a team-leading two hits and O'Neal provided a pair of RBI for the Athenas.

Raven Freret highlighted the La Verne offense with a 3-for-4 performance.

Game 2:  No. 2 CMS vs. No. 3 Chapman

Claremont-Mudd-Scripps took care of business in its first game of the tournament, taking down Chapman University in a 3-0 performance. With the triumph, the Athenas improved to 5-0 against the Panthers this season.

The game remained scoreless through the first four innings, with CMS leaving four runners on while connecting on three hits.

Chapman recorded its first hit of the day when Stephanie Engle crushed a one-out single to left-center field in the top of the fifth. But CMS' Hayley Schultz shut down the remaining batters to finish the inning unscathed.

After a Panther error and one out, CMS looked to Tara Robinson and Harmony Palmer to uncork consecutive hits to put one on the board. Katie Savard provided all that the Athenas needed to make it 2-0 when she sent a chopper to the shortstop, allowing Robinson to seize the opening and score on the routine defensive play to first.

Chapman's best opportunity came in the subsequent stanza, when it strung together three hits to load the bases. However, with two outs, Schultz provided the well-timed strikeout to halt any chance of a Panther comeback.

Another Chapman miscue set up the Athenas' final score in the sixth, when an eventual fielder's choice play at home allowed the insurance run by Shannon O'Neill.

CMS' Palmer registered the only multi-hit performance of the game, going 2-for-2 with one RBI. 

Schultz dispersed four hits and fanned two for her 23rd win from the circle. 

Despite recording six strikeouts and giving up just one earned run, Cassie Oregel took the loss for the Panthers.