TUCSON, Ariz. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps softball team split Day Two of the 2018 NFCA Leadoff Classic in Tucson, Ariz. on Saturday. The Athenas defeated the Manhattanville Valiants 9-1 in five innings before falling to Pacific Luthern 6-5 in eight innings.
Game One – CMS defeats Manhanttanville 9-1 (Five Innings)
Seven different Athenas recorded both a hit and an RBI in Game One. CMS packed a punch with a big seven-run third inning en route to the win. Reeve Grobecker (CMC), Carly Roleder (CMC), and Briana Halle (CMC) each had two hits and Maddie Valdez (CMC) knocked in a pair of runs in the 9-1 run-rule victory.
CMS struck for two in the first, kick started by a leadoff single from Grobecker. Chloe Amarilla doubled to left center to drive in a run and give the Athenas a 1-0 lead. Roleder singled to put runners on the corners before Halle knocked in one with an RBI groundout.
The bottom of the third was an explosion of CMS offense with the Athenas bringing seven runs across on six hits. Molly Spaniac (CMC) was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the third and came around to score on a base hit off the bat of Roleder. Back-to-back singles from Halle and Kawai Scanlan (SC) loaded the bases for Valdez who doubled home two runs, pushing the lead to 5-0.
The inning continued when Scanlan scored on a sacrifice fly from Jessica Fox (CMC). Rachel Perley (HMC) kept the inning alive by reaching on an error, knocking in Valdez, then swiping second. Grobecker and Spaniac strung together back-to-back hits to give CMS a 9-0 lead after three innings.
The only blemish on Gurr's outing came in the top of the fourth. The Valiants put together a four-hit inning to put up their first, and only, run of the game.
Gurr earned her sixth win of the season, striking out three.
Game Two – Pacific Lutheran defeats CMS 6-5 (Eight Innings)
In Game Two, the Lutes emerged victorious after scoring two runs in the bottom of the eighth to earn the walk-off win. Fox led CMS with two hits while Scanlan had two RBI.
The Athenas controlled the game through the first three innings. Grobecker and Spaniac got the contest started with singles. Amarilla brought in a run on an RBI groundout and Roleder did the same after reaching on an error.
Leading 2-0 in the top of the third, CMS looked to add to their lead with a one-out double from Amarilla. Roleder drew a walk and both were knocked in by a triple off the bat of Scanlan. The three-bager put the Athenas up 4-0.
The Lutes answered back in the bottom of the third. Amarilla walked the leadoff batter then gave up two singles to cut the lead to 4-1. Another walk came back to bite the Athenas after a triple knocked in Pacific Lutheran's second run of the game.
The momentum continued to sit on the side of the Lutes as they scored two in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game at 4-4. Two hits and an error forced a pitching change, bringing Gurr into the circle for her second appearance of the day. She struck out two to end the inning, stranding runners on the corners.
Both teams kept off the board through the next two innings to force an international-tiebreaker. The freshmen got it done for CMS in the top of the eighth as Scanaln was placed on second to start the inning and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt from Valdez. Fox stepped up next and singled to knock in Scanlan and give the Athenas the lead.
After a bunt moved Pacific Lutheran's runner to third in the bottom of the inning, back-to-back hits knocked in two to give the Lutes the walk-off win.
Gurr suffered her fourth loss of the season, falling to 6-4.
The Athenas are now 8-4 on the season and conclude the NFCA Leadoff Classic tomorrow morning. CMS will face Pacific (Ore.) at 9:00 a.m. and Fontbonne at 12:30 p.m. before heading home to face Redlands on Mar. 10 in Claremont.