The Sagehen Report: Week of April 9
An outstanding week in Pomona-Pitzer Athletics saw the Baseball team sweep all three games from Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, Softball and Men’s Tennis pick up wins over nationally ranked opponents, and Women’s Water Polo and Women’s Tennis remain undefeated in the SCIAC.
The Baseball team continued its torrid play of late by sweeping CMS, winning the first two games in lopsided fashion (11-3, 13-3) and then pulling out a narrow 5-4 win in the finale. Leading hitter James Campbell ’12 returned to the lineup after missing two weeks with an injury and had a whopping 10 RBI on the weekend, including six in the 11-3 win to start the weekend off on a high note. He had a three-run, two-out double in the fifth to break a 1-1 tie and then added a three-run homer to put the game away. He then added four RBI in the second game of the series, including a bases-loaded, two-out double after CMS had cut a 6-0 deficit down to 6-3.
Nick Gentili ’13 also had a big weekend as he started off the 13-3 win with a three-run homer in the first inning and then added the game-winning RBI in the bottom of the eighth to break a 4-4 tie in the series finale. Guy Stevens ’13 had a hand in both Saturday wins on the mound, throwing two innings of shutout relief to get the save in the first game and then throwing four innings of shutout relief, while pitching to the minimum 12 batters, in the 5-4 win in the nightcap. Travis Rooke Ley PI ’12 continued his sensational senior season by winning the first game of the series to improve to 8-2 overall, including 6-0 with a 0.73 ERA in conference. The Sagehens, who are now in third in the SCIAC at 13-8, will begin the final stretch of conference games this weekend, on the road at Occidental on Friday and Whittier on Saturday, and then home for Cal Lutheran on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Softball, meanwhile, took a huge step towards a SCIAC Tournament bid by taking three out of four conference games this week, including a split with Redlands, which is ranked No. 13 in the nation. The Sagehens hung tough in the opening game before falling 5-2, but then used a seven-run third inning to capture a 7-6 win in the nightcap, holding off a rally from Redlands, which had three solo homers in the seventh inning to get within a single run, but came up short. Kathryn Rabak ’13 capped off the seven-run fourth with a three-run homer with what turned out to be the winning runs.
Leah Bleichner ’15 also had a huge week at the plate for the Sagehens, tallying hits in nine straight plate appearances. She was 3-for-4 in the win over Redlands, with hits in her final three at-bats (including an RBI single in the third), then went 4-for-4 with a three-run homer in a 6-1 win over Occidental in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader. She capped off the weekend with a 3-for-5 effort, with hits in her first two at-bats in an 8-2 win over Oxy to complete the doubleheader sweep, and also made her first pitching appearance as a Sagehen, throwing the final three innings to get the save while allowing just one run. She batted .688 overall on the week (11-16) and is now batting .529 in the SCIAC. Softball will have two key conference doubleheaders this weekend as it tries to clinch a postseason bid, at La Verne on Friday and then home against Whittier on Saturday at 12 noon.
Women’s Water Polo earned a narrow 9-7 road win over Redlands on Wednesday to remain perfect in the SCIAC at 3-0 (as well as perfect against NCAA Division III competition at 9-0). Alyssa Woodward PI ’15 continued her strong rookie season with three goals, while Vicky Gyorffy ’15, who was named the SCIAC Female Athlete of the Week last week after her three goals against Occidental, continued her clutch play as of late with two goals. The Sagehens will host La Verne on Wednesday at 5 p.m. (along with Azusa Pacific at 7 p.m.) and then have a potential first-place battle with Cal Lutheran on Saturday at 11 a.m.
Women’s Tennis also remained perfect in the SCIAC with a 9-0 win over La Verne on Saturday to move to 4-0 in conference play. Emily Kawahara PI ’12 and Nicole Holsted ’12 had an 8-0 win in doubles and then both won straight set singles matches by dropping only three games apiece. Men’s Tennis, meanwhile, defeated Gustavus Adolphus on Wednesday, led by a dominant performance from Tommy Meyer ’12, who won his singles match 6-1, 6-0 against the ninth-ranked player in the country. Both tennis teams face Caltech this weekend before heading up Sixth Street for huge matches against CMS on Saturday night at 6 p.m.
Women’s Lacrosse saw its five-game winning streak come to an end, but the Sagehens showed significant progress in their losses to unbeaten Redlands and CMS. Earlier in the season, Pomona-Pitzer faced both those teams and weren’t competitive, but this time around, they were tied at the half both times before wearing down in the second half. Martha Marich ’12 had her Senior Day on Saturday and tallied five goals and two assists in the first game ever played at the new athletic field above the parking garage structure. Logan Galansky ’14 led the way against Redlands with four goals and two assists. The Sagehens have a key road game on Saturday against Whittier, and can clinch a SCIAC Tournament berth with a win.
The Track and Field teams had some impressive performances at a SCIAC Quad meet hosted by Occidental on Saturday. On the men’s side, the 4x400 relay team of Greg Hook PI ‘14, Adam Faison PI ‘15, Matt Sloane ‘14 and Ryan Meyer ’12 broke 3:18 (3:17.32) to record one of the top 10 times in the nation so far this year. Anders Crabo ’12 had an impressive 15:19 in the 5000 meters to finish a close second behind NCAA qualifier Colin Smith of Occidental, while Matt Owen PI ’13 cleared 13 feet in the pole vault (13’, 5.25”).
On the women’s side, ShaKayla Rouse ’15 broke 13 seconds in the 100 meters (12.96) to place fifth among 21 competitors, while Katie Barton ’15 moved into ninth place all-time at Pomona-Pitzer in the 100-meter hurdles with a 16.06. Annie Lydens ’13, meanwhile showed great progress in her return from off-season foot surgery as she finished second in both the 1500 and the 5000 meters, showing she is rounding into form heading into the final month of the season. The track teams will host the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational all day Saturday at Strehle Track in the final tune-up before SCIAC Championships on April 27-28 at Redlands.