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The Sagehen Report: Week of April 16

This week in Sagehen Athletics saw the Women’s Water Polo team win three dramatic games to remain the No. 1 ranked team in Division III, while the Softball team waited until the last possible moment to clinch its first SCIAC Tournament bid since 2008.

The Softball team needed just one win this week out of four to secure a trip to the SCIAC Tournament, but the team that had made a habit of winning in dramatic fashion all season long had the tables turned on Saturday, falling twice to Whittier in extra innings. Seniors Bri Marcantoni PI ’12 and Emily Buika ’12 hit extra-inning home runs to help the Sagehen cause, with Buika’s first career homer tying the nightcap 4-4 in the eighth inning. However, Whittier prevailed 9-8 in nine innings and 5-4 in 10 innings to postpone Pomona-Pitzer’s invitation to the postseason.

The next day against La Verne, the Sagehens dropped the opener 5-3 and trailed 2-0 heading into the seventh inning, looking like they may have to try again next weekend for their SCIAC-clinching win. However, with their backs against the wall, Pomona-Pitzer came through as Caitlyn Hynes ’14 hit a two-out, two-run double with the bases loaded to give the Sagehens a 3-2 lead and Fiona Riley ’15 retired the side in order in the bottom half to finish off a complete game and seal the win. Leah Bleichner ’15 continued her torrid freshman season with an RBI single in the seventh, and singles from Jessica Liu ’15, Ari Roach PI ’12 and Emily Glass ’15 helped set the table for Hynes, who was 4-for-4 at the plate for the game. Pomona-Pitzer will jockey for seeding this week as it hosts CMS on Friday at 2 p.m. in its final home doubleheader, before traveling to Cal Lutheran on Saturday.

Women’s Water Polo entered the week with a target on its back as the No. 1 team in Division III and faced tough home contests against La Verne and Cal Lutheran, as well as a non-conference game with Azusa Pacific. In both SCIAC matches, the Sagehens let  big second half leads slip away, but regrouped under pressure to win in overtime. Against La Verne, the Leopards scored four unanswered goals to turn a 5-2 Pomona-Pitzer lead into a 6-5 deficit late in the match, but Alyssa Woodward PI ’15 tied the score with less than two minutes to play and then scored twice in overtime to lead the Sagehens to the 9-6 win. Sarah Westcott ’15 added the game-winning goal early in overtime, and then scored the game-winner later that same day in the final minute of regulation in a 10-9 win over Azusa Pacific.

The Cal Lutheran match was a battle between two teams that came into the week tied for first in the SCIAC, although Cal Lutheran fell to Occidental early in the week and needed a win to get back into a first-place tie. Pomona-Pitzer led 7-3 early in the second half, before the Regals stormed back with four unanswered goals to tie the score 7-7 with 10  seconds left in regulation. However, Perri Hopkins PI ’12 broke the tie in the first overtime, and Chrissie Alving-Trinh ’15 added a pretty goal in the second overtime as the Sagehens improved to 16-16 overall, 5-0 in the SCIAC and 10-0 in Division III. Pomona-Pitzer has its final home game of the season on Wednesday at 7 p.m. against CMS.

The Pomona-Pitzer Baseball team had a nine-run eighth inning, all of which came with two outs, to defeat Cal Lutheran 15-7 on Sunday for its 20th win of the season. Mark Okuma ’15 scored the go-ahead run on an error to make the score 7-6, then later cleared the bases with a three-run double and came home to score on a Travis Bowers ’14 RBI single to cap off the nine-run explosion. In between, Erik Munzer PI ’13 had a two-run single, to cap off a day in which he was 4-for-5 at the plate with four stolen bases.

Leslie Canter PI ’12 broke a school record at the Pomona-Pitzer Track and Field Invitational with an 11:41.73 in the 3000-meter steeplechase, while All-American Annie Lydens ’13 continued her recovery from off-season foot surgery by finishing seventh in the 5000 meters with an 18:01.64 (second among Division III competitors). On the men’s side, Greg Hook PI ’14 won his heat in the 400 meters with a personal-best 49.52 to come in third, while five different Sagehens set personal bests in the 5000 meters, led by Alex Johnson PI ‘13, who finished with a 15:10.89. The Sagehens are off until the SCIAC Championships at Redlands on April 27-28, although Anders Crabo ’12 will compete in the steeplechase this weekend at the prestigious Mt. Sac Invitational, shooting to break the 9-minute mark (he currently has the top time in Division III this year).

Women’s Tennis bounced back from its first conference loss of the season to CMS on Saturday by defeating Chapman 6-3 on Sunday, taking five of six singles matches. Sammy Chao ’14 remained unbeaten in singles with a 6-4, 6-0 win at No. 2 at Chapman, although she was held out of the singles competition against CMS due to injury after suffering her first doubles defeat of the year. On the men’s side, the Sagehens took a 9-0 win over Caltech on Saturday morning, but fell 7-2 to CMS in the evening, although Tommy Meyer ’12 and Uday Singh ’12 had a doubles win at No. 2 and Max Sabel PI ’13 and Frankie Allinson ’13 added one at No. 1 doubles. Both tennis teams face Redlands on Sunday, with the women playing at home at Pauley Courts at 12 noon and the men traveling to Redlands.

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