CLAREMONT, CA. – The Pomona-Pitzer Softball team continued to reel in the victories, taking a non-conference sweep over Willamette on a Tuesday afternoon doubleheader. The Sagehens squeaked out a close 2-0 victory over the Bearcats in the first game and followed up with an 8-5 slugfest victory in game two.
Season Impact: The two victories improve the Sagehens to a 17-6-1 record overall and have won eight of their last nine games.
Pomona-Pitzer def. Willamette 2-0
Liz Rodarte pitched a complete game shutout, striking out seven batters for her 10th win of the season. She lowered her ERA to 1.27. Izzy Deatherage went 2-for-3 at the plate and Baleigh McCuskey went 1-for-2 with an RBI.
The Bearcats pressured Rodarte early in the game, opening up the first inning with a double and a sac bunt to put a runner on third. With one out on the board, Rodarte got out of the jam with a strikeout and a groundout to keep the Bearcuts scoreless.
The Sagehens struck quickly in the botton of the first, taking advantage of two walks and a single to load the bases. With Deatherage at the plate in the cleanup spot, the Willamette catcher gave up a passed ball to advance a runner home, giving the Hens a 1-0 lead. Unfortunately, the Hens couldn't capitalize any more as the pitcher Jocelyn Glasgo settled down and escaped the jam.
The Hens opened up the bottom of the second inning with runners on first and second after capitalizing on two straight errors. McCuskey slapped a single through the left side for an RBI and doubled the lead.
The Bearcats continued to push for opportunities, but struggled to string consecutive hits against the junior ace. In the top of the fourth, with a runner on first and two outs, the Bearcats' Kealaulaikalani Gier slapped a single through the left side to put a runner in scoring position. Rodarte got out of the situation thanks to a batter's interference call on the next hitter.
After struggling to put runners past first in the fifth and sixth inning, the Bearcuts almost came back as Rodarte gave up a single and a walk to put runners on first and second. However, the junior cooley finished the game with a strike out on the last batter to take the victory.
Pomona-Pitzer def. Willamette 8-5
Karina Falkstrom broke out the big bat in the second game of the afternoon, going 3-for-3 with three RBIs and a home run. Natalie Ireland also had a solid game, hitting 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs.
Liz Rodarte snagged a line drive to end the first inning.
In the bottom of the second, with one out and runners on second and third, Karina Falkstrom put the Hens on board with a slapped single to shallow left. McCuskey followed with a single through the right side to double the lead.
The Hens rallied again in the bottom of the third with a runner on second and one out, as Natalie Ireland plated an RBI single and advanced to second on an error. Falkstrom followed with her first home run of the season to bring in two, extending the lead 5-0.
At the bottom of the fourth, McCuskey led off with a deep triple to center field and Campion followed with an RBI double to left field to pad the lead. Michelle Calcany Blair hit into an error as Campion bolted home off a bad throw from the third baseman to make it 7-0.
Willamette nearly put on a scare, putting up four runs in the top of the fifth to prevent a possible mercy rule loss. They later added another run on an error in the top of the sixth to cut the deficit 7-5.
However, Ireland added an insurance run in the bottom of the same inning. With runners at the corners with two outs, Ireland laced a single up the middle to make it 8-5.
Liz Rodarte came in relief in the final inning and closed the door, striking out two batters for her first save of the season.
Up Next: The Sagehens will travel over to Orange on Saturday, March 31 for a doubleheader against Chapman University at 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.