Valdez Sends Athenas to SCIAC Championship with Sixth Inning Game-Winning Homer

Maddie Valdez (CMC) hit the go-ahead home run in the bottom of the sixth. (photo credit: Alisha Alexander)
Maddie Valdez (CMC) hit the go-ahead home run in the bottom of the sixth. (photo credit: Alisha Alexander)

LA VERNE, Calif. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps softball team advanced to the SCIAC Championship after a hard-fought win over cross-campus rival, third-seeded Pomona-Pitzer. Anna Gurr (CMC) had another dominant outing, holding the Sagehens to one run on three hits while striking out four and not walking a batter. Maddie Valdez (CMC) was the hero at the plate, smashing the go-ahead home run in the bottom of the sixth.

Gurr held the Sagehens to just one hit through the first three innings, giving CMS the opportunity to strike first. Chloe Amarilla (CMC) led-off the bottom of the third with a single to center and advanced on a bunt single by Carly Roleder (CMC). A sacrifice bunt from Briana Halle (CMC) moved both into scoring position for Kawai Scanlan (SC). The freshman earned the first RBI of the game, sending a sacrifice fly into left to knock in Amarilla and give the Athenas a 1-0 advantage.

Continuing to dominate in the circle, Gurr sat Pomona-Pitzer down in order over the next two innings.

The Sagehens evened the contest in the top of the sixth, striking for a one on a pair of hits.

The Athenas wasted no time regaining the lead. Valdez opened up the bottom of the sixth in a big way, belting a solo shot to dead center to put CMS back on top, 2-1.

Gurr finished her gem by striking out two batters in the top of the seventh to close out the game and send the Athenas to the SCIAC Championship Game. As mentioned, the senior southpaw was solid in the circle. She allowed one run on three hits while striking out four en route to her 17th win of the season. She worked extremely efficiently, needing only 54 pitches, 45 for strikes, through seven innings.

Reeve Grobecker (CMC), Amarilla, and Rachel Perley (HMC) each logged two hits for CMS and Valdez did her damage with one swing of the bat.

With the win, CMS advances to the SCIAC Championship on Sunday and will face the winner of top-seeded La Verne and the three-seed, Pomona-Pitzer, at noon. In the double-elimination format, the Athenas have to win one more game to clinch the SCIAC Tournament Title.