Athenas Earn Two Wins to Open Leadoff Classic

Athenas Earn Two Wins to Open Leadoff Classic

TUCSON, Ariz. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps softball team opened the 2018 NFCA Leadoff Classic with a pair of victories in Arizona. First the Athenas came away with a 9-1 win over the St. Catherine Wildcats in six innings before taking down Otterbein 8-3 in their second game of the day.

Game One – CMS defeats St. Catherine 9-1

CMS opened up the tournament with a game against the St. Catherine Wildacts, exploding for six runs in the top of the fifth in their 9-1 win. Kawai Scanlan (SC) led the Athenas with two hits and two RBI. Maddie Valdez (CMC) and Carly Roleder (CMC) both went deep in the contest.

Anna Gurr (CMC) sat the Wildcats down in order through the first two innings before surrendering the game's first run. A walk in the top of third came around to score on a double by Anna Hinderaker, giving St. Catherine a 1-0 advantage. This was the only hit Gurr would allow in her six innings.

Trailing 1-0, the Athenas put together a big six-run top of the fifth, fueled by home runs from Roleder and Valdez. Reeve Grobecker (CMC) reached on an error to lead off the inning and was knocked in by a single from Chloe Amarilla (CMC). Roleder stepped up to the plate next and homered to put CMS up 3-1.  A Briana Halle (CMC) single was followed by a Scanlan walk, putting two on for Valdez who promptly crushed her first-career home run to push the Athenas' advantage to 6-1.

CMS added to their lead in the top of the sixth when Scanlan tripled to knock in two runs. She eventually came around to score on an error to put CMS up 9-1 and end the game via the run-rule.

Valdez had four RBI in the contest to lead the Athenas offensively. CMS notched seven hits, including four for extra bases with Valdez and Roleder's home runs and triples from Scanlan and Jessica Fox (CMC).

Gurr earned her fifth win of the season, tossing the complete game while allowing just one hit and striking out two.

Game Two – CMS defeats Otterbein 8-3

CMS earned their second win of the day with an 8-3 victory over the Otterbein Cardinals. Halle and Amarilla each had two hits in the game and three Athenas notched two RBI each. Gurr came on in relief, tossing five and a third innings to earn the win.

The Athenas opened the scoring in Game Two in the top of the first inning. Spaniac earned a free pass to first with one out and advanced with a bunt single from Amarilla. After both runners advanced, Spaniac on an error and Amarilla with a stolen base, Halle singled to right to plate both runners. Scanlan kept the inning alive by reaching on an error and stealing second. Valdez brought in two with a double down the left field line to put CMS up 4-0.

Amarilla took the mound in Game Two and allowed one run on two hits in the top of the first before striking out a batter to end the inning and leave the bases loaded.

Otterbein took advantage of three walks in the second, scoring another run to cut the lead to 4-2. Gurr took over in the circle with two outs and ended the threat with a groundout to second.

The two teams were quiet through the third and fourth innings before CMS tacked on two insurance runs in the fifth. Spaniac led the inning off with a walk and Amarilla tripled to right center and scored on a wild pitch to push the advantage to 6-2. Gurr tallied two strikeouts in the bottom of the fifth, and again in the bottom of the sixth.

Grobecker and Spaniac got the top of the seventh started with back-to-back singles. Grocbecker was cut down on a fielder's choice at third, allowing Amarilla to reach. A single from Halle loaded the bases before Scanlan brought in two with a single to left, giving the Athenas an 8-2 cushion.

Otterbein attempted to chip away in the bottom of the seventh, scoring a run on two hits, but the Athenas silenced the threat to close out the 8-3 victory.

As mentioned, Halle and Amarilla led the offense while Halle, Scanlan, and Valdez each had two RBI. Gurr earned the win while striking out six and not walking a batter.

The Athenas are back in action tomorrow as they continue the Leadoff Classic. They will take on Manhattanville at 9:00 a.m. PT and Pacific Lutheran at 11:30 a.m. PT.