Players, coaches and fans are enjoying this middle stretch of the softball season as the long promised offensive explosiveness has come to bear. Since March 15, the talented group has shown its propensity for scoring, scoring and scoring some more. In the last two weeks, the raging Athenas have won eight of 10 games, racking up some 72 runs. These games included splits against two top 25 ranked opponents (SUNY-Plattsburgh and Central College) along with an impressive win over East Coast power Williams College.
Swinging freely and being aggressive on the bases have been consistent mantras in the Athena dug-out this season and the women are watching it pay off. To date, they have outscored their opponents an impressive 188-53. A team batting average of .349 and a team slugging percentage of .499 further illustrate the offensive productivity and power coming to the plate for the Maroon and Gold.
Freshman Melissa Munoz (Union City [pictured - left]) and junior Lisa Gutierrez (Alhambra [pictured - right]) have been particularly prolific of late smashing back-to-back homeruns against Williams Monday. Munoz also went yard against conference rival Whittier on Saturday.
Consistent offensive numbers continue to come from Michelle Harvey (FR, San Diego), Katerina Yale (FR, Yorba Linda), Gizelle Pera (FR, Los Angeles), Jessica Vaughn (JR, Placerville) and several others.
Also providing great excitement for the team is the settling in of the pitching staff. Junior Stephanie McCarty (Huntington, NY) has elevated her game and is currently carrying a 4-1 record, with a 2.52 ERA. Her performance against Plattsburgh, ranked #11 in the country at the time, was impressive scattering eight hits, while striking out six and walking one to lead the team to a 3-1 victory. Sophomore Julia Cruz (Tustin) has also begun to hit her stride. Currently at 5-3, with a 3.19 ERA, she struck out seven, walked two and gave up just one hit in a dominating 14-0 performance over Whittier.
Rounding out the pitching staff are sophomore Dianna Buckett (Longmont, CO) and junior Erika Weingart (Brea). Buckett is 2-0 on the year with a superlative performance against #21 ranked Central College leading her teammates to a 10-1 victory. Weingart came in and pitched two stellar innings in relief during that win.
The Athenas are in action three times this week hosting Whitworth University and Menlo College on Tuesday and Friday respectively, before taking their show on road to battle Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday, March 29.