Los Angeles, Calif. - Sophomore pitcher Fiona Riley (Berkeley, Calif. - pictured) threw a shutout in the opener and went two innings to get the save in the nightcap as the Pomona-Pitzer Softball team swept Occidental 2-0 and 6-3 on Saturday.
With the wins, the Sagehens improve to 9-11 overall and 4-8 in the SCIAC as they try to fight back into the postseason picture. Occidental falls to 11-15 overall and 2-12 in league play.
Riley worked hard for her shutout in the opener, allowing nine hits, but walking none and leaving all nine runners stranded. She faced her first big challenge in the second, as a leadoff double from Ashley Noone gave the Tigers a scoring threat, but sophomore center fielder Leah Bleichner (Simi Valley, Calif.) picked up another outfield assist (her sixth in the last eight games) to get Noone out going to third, and freshman shortstop Aryana Yee (Redwood City, Calif.) threw out a runner at the plate with the bases loaded.
Occidental also loaded the bases with one out in the fourth on three singles, but Riley picked up one of her three strikeouts on the day in a key spot, and then got a grounder to sophomore second baseman Meagan Tokunaga (Albany, Calif.) to end the threat.
Pomona-Pitzer got all of the offense it would need in the first inning with two runs. Sophomore left fielder Ashley Morello (Santa Cruz, Calif.) led off with a walk and went to second on a Yee bunt single, before a walk to sophomore catcher Emily Glass (Davis, Calif.) loaded the bases with nobody out.
Senior designated player Kathryn Rabak (Grass Valley, Calif.) singled to left to give the Sagehens the early lead. Junior first baseman Caitlyn Hynes (Upland, Calif.) added an unlucky fielder's choice as her would-be single to center field resulted in a forceout, but Yee was still able to score on the play to extend the lead to 2-0, and end the offense for the entire contest in the first frame.
Occidental had one final rally in the seventh as a two-out single put runners on first and third and brought the winning run to the plate, but Riley got the dangerous Jacqueline Shimamoto (.468 batting average, 3 HR, 21 RBI) to pop up to finish off the win.
The nightcap again saw the Sagehens take a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, as junior first baseman Lauren Boden (Atlanta, Ga.) tripled and came home on a wild pitch. However, Shimamoto hit a two-run homer in the bottom half off of Hynes to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead.
The lead held at 2-1 until the top of the fifth, when Pomona-Pitzer went ahead for good. Tokunaga led off with an infield single and was sacrificed to second by Yee. One out later, Morello came through with a two-out RBI single and moved to second on the throw home. Boden then doubled home the go-ahead run to center field to make the score 3-2.
Shimamoto led off the bottom of the sixth with a double, and Riley came on in relief to get the next three outs in order to preserve the one-run lead. Pomona-Pitzer then struck for three runs in the top of the seventh for some breathing room. Yee led off with a single, and one out later, Morello singled for her third hit of the game. Boden then added her third hit as well, an RBI single, to plate the first run, and Hynes followed with a two-run single to make the score 6-2.
The insurance runs would be key, as Occidental plated one run in the bottom of the seventh to make the score 6-3, but Riley retired the final two batters to prevent the tying run from ever getting to the plate.
Morello was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI in the nightcap, while Boden was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI, and Hynes was 2-for-3 with two RBI and earned the pitching win by allowing five hits and two runs over five innings. Yee was 3-for-4 in the opening game (accounting for three of Pomona-Pitzer's five hits) and was 4-for-6 in the doubleheader.
Pomona-Pitzer will be back in action this week with five home games, a single game on Wednesday against La Sierra at 4:30, and conference doubleheaders with La Verne on Friday and Redlands on Saturday.