CMS Softball Moves to 10-0 in SCIAC with Wild Doubleheader Sweep of Occidental

Maddie Valdez homered for the sixth time in seven doubleheaders this season
Maddie Valdez homered for the sixth time in seven doubleheaders this season

LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The No. 12 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps softball team lost leads twice in the bottom of the sixth, but responded to win two more games in its final at-bat to move to 10-0 in the SCIAC, defeating Occidental 12-10 in eight innings in the opener and 17-7 in the nightcap on Saturday afternoon after a 10-run seventh.

With the sweep, CMS moves to 12-3 overall and 10-0 in the SCIAC, while Occidental falls to 1-16 overall and 1-7 in league play. The Athenas have picked up seven of their 10 league wins in their final at-bat, including each of their last six (three of which have gone to extra innings). 

Sophomore designated player Megan Perron was 7-for-9 in the doubleheader and scored nine runs, capping off her day with a solo homer to go back-to-back with sophomore Maddie Valdez, who hit her sixth of the season.  

In the opener, senior outfielder Rachel Perley was 3-for-5 with the game-winning RBI single in the eighth, while senior pitcher/infielder Chloe Amarilla had a grand slam. In the nightcap, Valdez was 2-for-3 with four runs scored and three RBI, while Perley and sophomore outfielder Kawai Scanlan each had three RBI, with Scanlan driving home her three without a hit (two bases-loaded walks and a sac fly). 

Amarilla's grand slam put CMS ahead 5-1 in the top of the second in the opener, and an RBI single from freshman first baseman Ananya Koneti made it 6-2. After Occidental closed to within 6-5, freshman catcher Jordan Bassett doubled and sophomore left fielder Molly Spaniac singled to help push the lead to 9-5 in the fifth. 

Occidental competed the comeback with two runs in the sixth without the benefit of a hit to tie the score up 10-10. Both teams were retired in order in the seventh, to force the game into extra innings. CMS had a runner thrown out at the plate for the second out as it looked like the Athenas might miss a chance to take the lead, but Scanlan singled to put runners on first and second, and Perley followed with an RBI single to left field to put CMS back in front 9-8. 

Koneti then came through with an RBI single to give the Athenas an insurance run and make it a 10-8 game heading into the bottom half. Freshman pitcher Lauren Richards got a strikeout for the first out, and after a single through the right side (the only hit she allowed in 3.1 innings of relief), she retired the final two batters on groundouts to finish off the 10-8 win. 

The nightcap followed the same pattern of CMS opening up a comfortable leads twice and then having Occidental come back. The Athenas went ahead 4-0 with two runs in the second and two in the third, as Scanlan drove home the first run in the second with a bases-loaded walk before Perley hit a sacrifice fly. In the third, Perron hit an RBI single and came home on an RBI single from Koneti. 

Occidental, though, tied the score up in the bottom of the third, scoring two runs on a single and two on an error to make the score 4-4. In the fifth, CMS went back ahead 7-4 as Koneti broke the tie with a single, Scanlan hit a sacrifice fly, and Perley singled up the middle to plate the third run of the inning.

Once again, the Tigers responded and drove home two runs in the sixth on a double from Nyla Gatison, who then came home with the tying run on an RBI single from Natalie Glover to make the score 7-7. 

CMS finally built a lead that Occidental could not come back from by scoring 10 times in the top of the seventh. The inning started with Valdez drawing a walk and Perron getting hit by a pitch, and both later homered to cap off the 10-run explosion. In between, Scanlan and Perley drew bases-loaded walks, and Amarilla had a two-run single to give herself a six-RBI day and make it 11-7. Spaniac hit a two-run double to make it 13-7, and Valdez went yard with her sixth of the season to push the lead to 16-7. 

Valdez has now homered in six of the seven doubleheaders that CMS has played in, with the only exception coming yesterday against No. 3 Ithaca, when she hit the wall in deep left-center on the fly for a double. 

Richards tired a bit in the second game, allowing five earned runs, but she did pick up the win, the third weekend in a row that she has won both games of a SCIAC doubleheader by coming on relief to earn the win in an extra-inning game in the opener and then starting the nightcap and winning again. She is now 9-0 on the season, including 8-0 in SCIAC contests. 

CMS will be back in action on Monday when it welcomes in another top-10 opponent, facing No. 10 Williams in a 12 p.m. doubleheader at Athena Field.