Cockrell, Defense Help Sagehens Split With Chapman

Cockrell, Defense Help Sagehens Split With Chapman

Claremont, Calif. - Sophomore Bianca Cockrell threw a three-hit shutout and the Sagehen defense made several stellar plays behind her as the Pomona-Pitzer Softball team won the first game of a doubleheader with Chapman 1-0 on Friday afternoon. 

Chapman bounced back to win the nightcap 5-4 as the teams ended up with a split. Pomona-Pitzer moves to 14-20 overall and 9-13 in the SCIAC, while Chapman is now 13-15 overall and 10-12 in league play. 

The defensive plays in the opening game included a game-saving catch for the final out from senior center fielder Leah Bleichner, who made a sliding grab while crashing into the fence in left-center on a deep line drive from Karina Muniz with the tying run on first base. Junior first baseman Paige Oliver also had a diving catch of a line drive from pinch hitter Kelci Douglas for the second out of the inning.

In the fourth inning, senior left fielder Ashley Morello made a diving catch of a bullet from Amber Perez (catch pictured). In the fifth, sophomore shortstop Quinn Sheehy went deep into the hole to rob Kristen Weiser of a leadoff single, and in the sixth, freshman third baseman snared a liner from Larissa Rinauro.  

Offensively, the only run of the game was scored on a wild pitch. Bleichner and Morello hit back to back singles, and after a forceout moved Bleichner to third, she came home on a wild pitch for the only run that Cockrell would need.  

In the nightcap, the Sagehens kept the defense going as senior second baseman Meagan Tokunaga snared a liner and turned into a double play to end the first inning. Freshman catcher Natalie Ireland then had a two-out, two-run single to put Pomona-Pitzer ahead 2-0.

The Sagehens still led 2-1 in the fifth, when Gabrielle Leveratto hit a two-run homer to give Chapman its first lead of the day. Taylor Cartwright added a two-run double in the inning to stretch the lead to 5-2. Carlson almost tied the game in the bottom of the fifth for the Sagehens, but her blast to the wall in left was pulled in by Muniz right at the top railing of the fence with two runners on for the final out of the inning.

Carlson would get her round-tripper in the seventh to close the lead to 5-4 with one out. Oliver then followed with a bullet to Leveratto in center, and Madison Pahl was able to end the game on a groundout to get the win in relief.

Morello was 5-for-7 on the day to lead the Sagehens offense (2-for-3 in the opener, 3-for-4 in the nightcap).  Ireland was 2-for-3 in the nightcap, while Sheehy and freshman Kelsey Buchanan were each 2-for-4. 

Pomona-Pitzer is back in action tomorrow when it travels to CMS for a 12 noon doubleheader.