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Spring Sports Roundup: Baseball and Women's Tennis Wins SCIAC, Two Athletes Named "Player of the Year"

Editor's note: Please go to the end of the article for more updates.

Baseball
The Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens went out with a bang this year, taking the SCIAC championship and producing a Player of the Year.

With a 19-2 SCIAC record and 35-5 overall, the team was named No. 1 in its biweekly Collegiate Baseball NCAA Division III Poll in April. They clinched their place in the SCIAC championships by winning two of three games each against Cal Lutheran and Occidental in the final two weekends of the regular season.

In the finals, they faced off against the University of La Verne, and won their fourth SCIAC Championship in eight years with a 5-4 victory. Sagehens led 3-2 in the top of the eighth inning, but La Verne scored two runs with a hit batsman, a double and run-scoring error.

Unable to answer in the eighth inning, the Sagehens were down to their final two outs Mike Silva from CGU singled and Teddy Bingham ‘10 followed with a two-run walk off home run that clinched an outright SCIAC Championship for Pomona-Pitzer. Right-hand pitcher David Colvin PI ’10 led the way for the Sagehens, tossing a complete game and striking out eight without yielding a walk.

Drew Hedman ’09 has been named Player of the Year by SCIAC. He was previously named to the All-SCIAC Baseball teams in 2007 and 2008. Several other players were named to the All-SCIAC team this year as well. Zachary Mandelblatt ’09 (outfielder), Nick Frederick ’11 (outfielder), David Colvin PI ’09 (pitcher), James Kang PI ’10 (infielder) and Brandon Huerta PI ’09 (infielder) were named to the first team, and Mike Silva (catcher) and Teddy Bingham ’10 (outfielder) were named to the second team.

Women’s Water Polo
After an unsuccessful try at the SCIAC crown, which the Pomona-Pitzer team won the past two years, the women’s water polo team rebounded with a win at the Collegiate III tournament.

The grueling championship consists of five games in four days, and the Sagehens were victorious against Cal State East Bay 11-4, Washington and Jefferson 15-12, University of Redlands 8-5 and Occidental in the semi-finals 9-6. For the finals, they were matched up against the University of Redlands and won a 10-5 victory. Naneh Apkarian ‘10 led the Sagehens with three goals.

In the SCIAC Championships, the Sagehens defeated La Verne and Occidental in the opener and semi-finals, but lost to Cal Lutheran (whom they beat last year for the title) by just one point with a score of 8-7.

The team had a successful season with a 7-2 SCIAC record and an overall 25-9 record. Four players were named to the 2009 Women's Water Polo All-Conference Teams: Nikki Ruesch ’09 and Janelle Gyorffy ’09 were named to the First All-SCIAC Team, and Tamara Perea ’11 and Sara Woods ’10 were named to the Second All-SCIAC Team.

Women’s Track and Field
On April 27 and Occidental’s Bill Henry Track, the women’s track and field team scored 69.5 points to finish behind Claremont-Mudd-Scripps (175), Cal Lutheran (103.5), and Whittier (81).

Numerous Sagehen all-time bests were set, and junior Claire McGroder earned an individual title in the 400 meters. She clocked 56.65 to win the 400m. Her time stands sixth-fastest nationally on the 2009 NCAA Division III qualifying lists. She later finished second in the 200m at 26.00, and ran legs on both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays.

Several other sprinters placed in the top five of their categories and earned All-SCIAC honors. For a complete list, please visit our Athletics site.

Men’s Track and Field
Leading the way for the Sagehens was freshman John Lewis who amassed 24 team points. Lewis was the conference champion in the 110HH, finished second in the 100m, and third in the 200m dash. Only one other conference athlete scored more points, Jeff Clark, a senior from Claremont-Mudd.

Anders Crabo '12 also dominated the field in the 3000m steeplechase on the first day of competition and Pitzer freshman Colin Flynn was victorious in the 1500m run.

Women’s Tennis
The seventh-ranked Pomona-Pitzer women's tennis team won the SCIAC title, and as No. 1 team in the West region, they earned top seed in this weekend’s regional championships taking place at Pomona. The team that wins this weekend’s tournament will compete in the NCAA quarterfinals beginning May 19 in Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Siobhan Finicane '10, who was named Player of the Year, is already headed to the nationals as both an individual competitor and as a team with Olivia Muesse '10. They are ranked the No. 1 team in the west. Becca Lange '09 is also headed to Georgia as the first alternate, and was named on the First All-SCIAC Tennis Team. Muesse and Nicole Holstead '12 were named on the Second All-SCIAC team.

Updates

5/13/09 update, 11 a.m.: Pomona-Pitzer baseball is the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Division III West Regional Tournament taking place this week at Linfield College in McMinville, Oregon. Today at noon, the Sagehens play against Hendrix College.

Our Women’s Tennis team is also doing phenomenally well, a triple-threat with a No. 1 rank in the West for team, singles player (Siobhan Finicaine ’10) and doubles (Finicaine and Olivia Muesse ’10). The team won the West Regional Tournament last week with a final score of 5-1 over University of Redlands, and will join Finicaine, Muesse and first alternate Becca Lange ’09 at the Finals at the Collins Hill Athletic Club in Lawrenceville, Georgia, from May 19-21. The team will compete against Emory University in the quarterfinals. 

5/14/09 update, 2:23 p.m.: The Sagehens have won their first baseball game in the Western Regional Tournament in Oregon, with a final score of 8-3 against Hendrix College. Tomorrow at 3:30 p.m., they'll play the loser of tonight's game between George Fox University and Cal Lutheran.

5/19/09 update: The Pomona-Pitzer baseball team concluded their historic 2009 season at the NCAA Division III Baseball regional this past weekend, falling to tournament champion Chapman University, 5-2.

The team tied the record for most wins in a season with 37, while capturing their fourth SCIAC title in eight years. Senior Drew Hedman was named conference Player of the Year, and finished in the top 10 in the nation in batting average, home runs, slugging percentage, on base percentage, and runs batted in.

5/15/09 update: Pomona-Pitzer baseball lost today to George Fox with a final score of 12-6. Tomorrow, the Sagehens will play Cal Lutheran at noon. The winner of that game will then play Chapman University at 7 p.m. The final procedure for Sunday's Western Regional Championships will depend on the outcome of Saturday's games.