CLAREMONT, Calif. - As the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) softball season winds down, the Cal Lutheran softball team is battling for a Postseason Tournament berth. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps put a glitch in the quest today during a 9-0, five inning, loss in game one, but the Regals stormed back for a 2-1 extra-inning victory over the league leader to earn a split and avoid a season sweep to the Athenas.
CMS def. CLU 9-0 (5 innings)
Game one was controlled by CMS from the start as the host squad scored three runs in the first frame to set the tone. The Athenas added a run in the second and exploded for five more in the third. Alternatively, Cal Lutheran collected just five hits with the 7-8-9 batters, Catherine Slabaugh, Abbigael Howard and Makenna Pellerin,each notching one while Jacy Watanabe and Amanda Lewis were responsible for the other two. CLU stranded a pair in both the third and fifth. Courtney Sooy (7-9) was tagged with the loss, though four of the nine runs were unearned and she struck out two before Nicole White-Madolora took over for the final 1.1 innings, not allowing a hit or a runner. Mikaela Mayhew, Antonia Rapisardi and Pellerin turned a double-play in the contest.
CLU def. CMS 2-1 (10 innings)
In the nightcap, the game was much more evenly matched as each team had five hits and one run through regulation. In extra innings, the teams held one another at bay. Slabaugh started on second in the top of the tenth inning when the international tiebreaker rule went into effect and Howard promptly put down a sacrifice bunt to move the rookie up 60 feet. Mayhewcame up clutch with an infield single that scored Slabaugh with the winning run as the Regals worked to a 1-2-3 bottom of the tenth to make the game official.
Cal Lutheran put up the first run in the top of the first inning on a sacrifice fly by Sooy that plated Rapisardiwho singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch and third on a single by Olivia Leyva. A triple and hit batter put two on for CMS in the bottom of the seventh, but a heads-up play caught the lead runner at the plate as Leyva fired the ball back to Howard for the second out of the inning before Olivia Serrano forced a ground ball back to Leyva for the final out. Serrano (6-4) got 22 ground ball outs and seven fly balls in a complete 10.0 inning win in which she scattered six hits. Cal Lutheran played flawless defense as Leyva finished with seven assists and three putouts at the hot corner, Mayhew had eight touches and Pellerin had 17 putouts and one assist in the win.
Cal Lutheran (16-18, 13-13 SCIAC) concludes the regular season tomorrow at Hutton Field against Pomona-Pitzer. Play is set to begin at noon with a senior recognition ceremony to follow the conclusion of game two.
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