MCMINNVILLE, Ore. – It was do-or-die for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps softball team on Saturday afternoon in McMinnville, Ore. when the Athenas took on No. 7 Linfield for the second-straight day. Chloe Amarilla (CMC) got the ball in the circle for CMS and pitched her heart out, holding one of the toughest offenses in the country to just two runs as the Athenas dropped a heartbreaker 2-1 and saw their season come to a close.
Amarilla did all she could for her team in one of her strongest outings of the year. The junior allowed seven hits across seven innings and struck out four.
Linfield dented the board in first, bringing one across in the bottom of the first inning.
Kawai Scanlan (SC) stole a double from Linfield to open the bottom of the fourth. A shot off the wall in dead center looked to be a sure-fire extra base hit for the Wildcats, but the speedy freshman played the ball off the fence and quickly fired the it into Reeve Grobecker (CMC) at second to cut the runner down. Two more quick outs sent CMS back to the plate.
The top of the fifth began with a single to left from Jessica Fox (CMC). Kylie Hetzel (HMC) pressured the Linfield defense with a ground ball to third. The third baseman looked to get the out at second, but threw the ball into right center, allowing both runners to end up in scoring position. A sacrifice fly from Reeve Grobecker (CMC) evened the contest, knocking in Fox and the Athenas headed into the bottom of the fifth tied 1-1.
The Wildcats regained momentum and the lead in the bottom of the fifth when Cheyenne Fletcher smashed a ball over the fence in left field, bringing the score to 2-1 in favor of Linfield. A big strikeout from Amarilla ended the inning and CMS got back to work.
Grobecker saved a run in the bottom of the sixth, laying out for a line drive to hold a runner at third.
CMS was unable to get to Linfield pitcher Shelby Saylors in the top of the seventh and their run in the NCAA Tournament ended.
With the season complete, the Athenas head back to Claremont and turn their attention to the 2019 season. Carly Roleder (CMC) completes her four years as the career home run leader at CMS after smacking her 18th in Game One on Friday. Anna Gurr (CMC) now leads the Athenas in virtually every career pitching record, including wins (71). Briana Halle (CMC) left her mark as the anchor on defense, and finishes her career with a .993 fielding percentage at first base.