Relentless Sagehens Keep Coming Back For Sweep Of La Verne

Relentless Sagehens Keep Coming Back For Sweep Of La Verne

Claremont, Calif. - Freshman center fielder Leah Bleichner (Simi Valley, Calif.) capped off an eight-RBI doubleheader with a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth as the Sagehens completed a doubleheader sweep of La Verne 10-9 on Saturday afternoon.

Pomona-Pitzer, which also won the opener 6-5 on a walk-off RBI single from freshman third baseman Jessica Liu (Alamo, Calif.), improves to 7-7 overall on the year and 4-2 in the SCIAC. La Verne slips to 9-4 overall and 6-4 in the SCIAC.

The Sagehens had to keep coming back throughout the doubleheader after falling behind 5-0 in the first game before winning 6-5, and then coming back several times in the nightcap. After La Verne took a 3-0 lead in the second game, Bleichner started the comeback with a tying three-run homer in the fourth before finishing off the final comeback in the eighth with the two-run single.

pictured: Bri Marcantoni (helmet on) and Leah Bleichner (helmet off) celebrate the game-winning hit.

After Bleichner tied the game in the fourth with her homer, Pomona-Pitzer scored twice more in the fourth and twice in the fifth to pull ahead 7-3. Freshman catcher Emily Glass (Davis, Calif.) followed with a double, and senior right fielder Emily Buika (Long Beach, Calif.) broke the tie with a sacrifice fly. Freshman left fielder Ashley Morello (Santa Cruz, Calif.) added an RBI single to put the Sagehens ahead 5-3.

In the fifth inning, senior first baseman Bri Marcantoni (Chino Hills, Calif.) had an RBI single, and after Bleichner lined out, Glass singled through the left side for another RBI to give the Sagehens a 7-3 lead.

However, this time La Verne would put on its comeback shoes as it scored twice in the sixth and three times in the seventh to go ahead 8-7. Danielle Vela had RBI's in both innings, including a single in the sixth to make the score 7-5, and the go-ahead RBI double in the seventh to give the Leopards an 8-7 lead.

Pomona-Pitzer responded to force extra innings as Marcantoni led off with a double, and after Bleichner flew out to deep left, Glass ripped a double into the left-center field gap to make the score 8-8. She moved to third on a single from freshman second baseman Meagan Tokunaga (Albany, Calif.), but La Verne pitcher Breeanna De La Rosa was able to escape the jam by getting Buika to line out to second base and Morello to hit a comebacker to the circle.

La Verne once again surged in front in the top of the eighth as Jackie Duran hit a chopper up the middle with two outs to give the Leopards a 9-8 lead. For the fourth time in the doubleheader, though, Pomona-Pitzer answered with a comeback. Liu led off with a walk, and the Sagehens caught a break when nobody covered second on a bunt attempt from Caitlyn Hynes (Upland, Calif.) and the throw from De La Rosa went into center field.

One out later, Marcantoni found the 5-6 hole to load the bases, and Bleichner followed with a single back up the middle. Marcantoni scored from third easily, and Hynes, one of the fastest players on the roster, was able to race around from second with the winning run.

Bleichner was 2-for-5 with five RBI in the nightcap, including her three-run homer and game-winning two-run single. Glass was 3-for-4 with two RBI, and Marcantoni was 3-for-5 with an RBI for the Sagehens. Freshman Fiona Riley (Berkeley, Calif.) started the game, and came back in for Hynes in the late innings to get the win, giving her victories in both games on the day.

The first game seemed like it was going to go La Verne's way as Jackie Duran had an RBI double in the first innning and a three-run homer in the third to put the Leopards ahead 5-0. The Sagehens chipped away, though, as Bleichner hit a clutch two-run single with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the third to get Pomona-Pitzer back in it at 5-2.

A Morello infield single in the fourth scored Glass, who led off with a double, to cut the La Verne lead to 5-3. In the bottom of the sixth, Pomona-Pitzer was able to pull even, as senior shortstop Ari Roach (Pinole, Calif.) had an RBI single and Bleichner drew a bases loaded walk to level the score at 5-5.

Riley retired the side in order in the top of the seventh, and De La Rosa got the first two outs in the bottom of the seventh. However, Morello then singled into left field, and the ball got away from left fielder Laura Olson for an error to move Morello to second. Liu then hit a liner towards left that hit the glove of Duran diving at second base and rolled into the shallow outfield, allowing Morello to race home with the game winning run.

Bleichner was 2-for-3 with three RBI in the first game, adding to her 4-for-8, eight-RBI doubleheader. Morello was 2-for-3 with two runs scored in the nightcap (4-for-7 in the doubleheader). Riley allowed only one hit in 2.2 innings of relief for the Sagehens to get the win.

Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action when it steps out of conference for a doubleheader with Staten Island on Friday.