MCMINNVILLE, Ore. - The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps softball team got off to a hot start in the 2018 NCAA Tournament at the McMinnville Regional hosted by Linfield College, defeating the No. 12 George Fox Bruins 6-3. History was made in the process when Carly Roleder (CMC) broke the CMS career-home run record with the 18th big fly of her career with a drive to deep center in the top of the fifth. The tables turned in Game Two when the No. 7 Linfield Wildcats scored early and often, ending the game in five innings by a score of 10-1.
Game One: CMS defeats No. 12 George Fox 6-3
CMS used a four-run first inning to propel themselves to an early lead that would last the rest of the game. Briana Halle (CMC) led the Athenas with three hits in the contest while Roleder and Maddie Valdez (CMC) each had two. Anna Gurr (CMC) secured her 19th win of the season, striking out seven with no walks.
The Athenas put up a big four runs in the top of the first that included five hits and saw eight batters go the plate. A line drive to center from Reeve Grobecker (CMC) provided the spark for CMS. Chloe Amarilla (CMC) bounced a high chopper in front of the plate, beating out the throw for an infield single to put runners on the corners with one out. Roleder brought in the game's first run on a well-executed squeeze bunt, catching the defense off guard as Grobecker slid home safely. Halle stepped into the box next and punched a single down the right field line to knock in two more and stretch the lead to 3-0. With Halle on third and two outs, Valdez shot an RBI single into center to plate the fourth run of the inning.
In the home half of the first, George Fox earned a free pass on a hit by pitch to lead off the inning, but the runner was quickly erased when Amarilla, Grobecker, and Halle combined to turn a double play. A line drive to Grobecker at second ended the inning and brought CMS back to the plate.
Gurr showed her athletic ability in the circle in the third, making every out. The senior fielded a ground ball to the circle cleanly before calling off the infield for a popup. She struck out a Bruin to end the inning.
Valdez shot a hard ground ball through the left side to begin the top half of the fourth before advancing on a sacrifice bunt by Jessica Fox (CMC) and a groundout from Rachel Perley (HMC). Grobecker pushed Valdez across when she reached on an error, and the Athenas led 5-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth.
George Fox struck for a pair in the bottom of the fourth, cutting the lead to 5-2.
Roleder made CMS softball history in the fifth inning, belting her 18th-career home run to dead center field to break the CMS career-home run record and give the Athenas a 6-2 advantage in the top of the fifth.
The Bruins attempted a comeback with timely hits in the bottom of the sixth, scratching a run across to slim the lead down to three, but the Athenas hung on to win 6-3.
Game Two: No. 7 Linfield defeats CMS 10-1 (Five innings)
The momentum the Athenas built up in Game One did not translate in Game Two as the No. 7 Linfield Wildcats got to work early, striking for three runs in the first inning. Gurr managed to get CMS out of a bases loaded jam in the top of the second, but the Wildcats opened the top of the third with a solo shot and an RBI double. Megan Perron (CMC) took over in the circle in relief of Gurr, and gave up an RBI single as Linfield extended their lead to 6-0.
After Linfield added a run in the top of the fourth, Amarilla notched the Athenas' first hit of the game with a base hit to left center. Roleder was hit by a pitch to put two on and a single down the left field line from Kawai Scanlan (SC) knocked in Amarilla for the first CMS run of the contest.
The Linfield offense continued to pound CMS pitching, quickly getting the two runs back plus one more in the top of the fifth. The Wildcats led 10-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth.
The Athenas were unable to score in the bottom of the fifth and dropped the contest 10-1 in five innings.
CMS will play tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. with the opponent to be determined.