Two Games, Two Walk-Off Wins for the Athenas

Two Games, Two Walk-Off Wins for the Athenas

CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps softball team took the first game of Thursday's twin bill in thrilling fashion, taking Western Connecticut State into extra innings. Briana Halle (CMC) provided the clutch base hit, bringing in Chloe Amarilla (CMC) from third to push the Athenas to an 11-10 victory. The Athenas trailed 6-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh in Game Two but emerged victorious, bringing in four runs to earn the 7-6 win. Maddie Valdez (CMC) laced a walk-off triple into the gap in right center to plate Kawai Scanlan (SC) and give CMS their second walk-off win of the day.

Game One: CMS defeats Western Connecticut State 11-10 (8 innings)

CMS and Western Connecticut battled for the lead throughout game one. The contest saw multiple lead changes and was forced to go into International Tiebreaker before Halle ended the game with an RBI single to give the Athenas the win.

The Colonials took advantage of Athena misplays in the top of the first, scoring two to take an early lead over CMS. The Athenas answered back in the home half of the first, jumping on a WCSU error to pull within one, trailing 2-1 after the first inning.

The Athenas put together a four-run inning in the bottom of the third, sparked by a single off the bat of Reeve Grobecker (CMC). She stole second before Amarilla drew a walk and both came around to score on a double from Roleder. Halle followed up with a double of her own before scoring on a single from Valdez. The Athenas held a 5-2 lead after the third.

Grobecker and Spaniac got things going in the bottom of the fourth with back-to-back singles. Amarilla increased her hit-streak to 13 games with an RBI single up the middle, pushing the lead to 6-2.

After a bases-clearing triple from WCSU's Kayla Nowak in the top of the sixth, Megan Perron (CMC) made her collegiate debut in relief of the starter, Amarilla. After a base hit to knock in Nowack tied the game at six, Perron utilized the defense behind her to get CMS out of the inning.

Grobecker led off the bottom of the sixth with a walk and advanced on an infield base hit from Spaniac. Amarilla wore a pitch and was awarded first to load the bases. Roleder stepped to the plate next and singled into right, plating two as CMS regained the lead. Amarilla came around to score on a base hit up the middle from Scanlan, giving the Athenas a 9-6 lead at the end of the sixth inning.

The Colonials were persistent, striking for three more in the top of the seventh to tie the contest 9-9. CMS was unable to score in the home half of the inning, forcing extras.

The game went into international tiebreaker, with each team placing a runner on second to start the inning. The Colonials capitalized, taking a one-run lead in the top of the eighth.

CMS wasted no time in the home half of the eighth as Amarilla beat out an infield single to advance Spaniac to third. Roleder ripped a single up the middle to tie the game at 10 before Halle delivered the big hit, sending a shot up the middle to knock in Amarilla and win the game, 11-10.

Roleder and Scanlan led CMS with three hits each and Roleder knocked in five runs. Perron earned her first collegiate win in the circle. Valdez cut-down three baserunners attempting to steal in the game.

Game Two: CMS defeats Western Connecticut State 7-6

Game Two saw much of the same with a back-and-forth battle between the two teams. CMS jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the Colonials exploded for a five-run inning to take the lead in the fifth inning. Facing a 6-3 deficit in the bottom of the seventh, the Athenas put together a huge four-run inning to win in walk-off fashion for the second straight game.

The Athenas got on the board first when Halle pulled a single through the left side to plate Grobecker and put CMS up 1-0 in the bottom of the first.

After a quick one-two-three top of the third from Amarilla in the circle, CMS put up another run in the bottom of the inning when Grobecker came around to score on an error. Rachel Perley (HMC) singled in the home half of the fourth to knock in Valdez to push the advantage to 3-0 after four.

The Colonials put up a five-spot to take the lead in the top of the fifth. After a base hit scored two, Natalia Hart crushed a ball to dead center field for a three-run blast, swinging the momentum in favor of Western Connecticut. WSCU didn't stop there, plating one more in the top of the seventh off Perron to extend their lead over CMS to 6-3.

With their backs against the wall, the Athenas fought their way to their second walk-off win of the day. Spaniac sent a double into the right field corner to get things going. Amarilla singled to right center and Spaniac scored on an error at the plate. Roleder drew a walk and a wild pitch allowed Amarilla to score and Roleder to advance. With the momentum on the Athenas' side, Scanlan tied the game with an RBI single to left before Valdez delivered the final blow with a triple deep into the gap in right center, scoring Scanlan to complete to comeback walk-off win.

Spaniac led the Athenas with three hits in the game and had two stolen bases. Valdez notched her second walk-off hit in as many days and Perron earned her second win of the day.

With her hit in the seventh inning of Game Two, Amarilla extended her hit-streak to 14 games and has now hit safely in 19 of 20 games.

Halle had a great day at the plate, collecting two hits in each game and three RBI. Her RBI single up the middle in Game One gave the Athenas their first walk-off win of the day, and she credits her teammates for keeping each other in the game regardless of the situation.

"We have really good energy in the dugout and on the field," Halle said. "We have been able to overcome adversity and we always stay in the game regardless of the score. It takes a lot of pressure off of me at the plate knowing that the person behind me is capable and will pick me up. That's really nice to have."

With the wins, CMS stretches their win-streak to eight games and improve to 16-4 overall.

The Athenas take on another non-conference opponent on Saturday when they face Hamline in a doubleheader. Game One is slated for noon at Athena Field.