Athenas Sweep Regals, Head To Texas
CMS won at Cal Lutheran on Saturday 9-3 and 2-0 to improve to 12-3 overall and 6-2 in SCIAC. The team will head to Texas for spring break for a pair of doubleheaders.
Pitchers Erika Weingart (SR, Brea [pictured left]) and Julia Cruz (JR, Tustin [pictured right]) combined to allow 15 hits, three runs, striking out six and walking two through two complete games. They recorded 13 consecutive shut-out innings after a poor first inning in game one allowed three unearned runs for Cal Lutheran.
After striking first in the top half of the opener, the Athenas promptly gave the three back in a disappointing defensive half that saw two errors allow three unearned runs and the lead to shift to the Regals.
Though unhappy with their start, the Athenas quickly regrouped and responded with an offensive performance that was steady and balanced. In a 12-hit, nine-run contest, eight Athenas recorded hits including four with multiple hit games. Melissa Munoz (SO, Union City) and Rebecca King (FR, Bellevue) roped two doubles each driving in six runs between the two of them. The relentless attack generated runs in four of seven innings while still stranding 10.
Weingart settled in after the first inning miscues and held the Regals to just seven hits across six scoreless innings to close out her third win of the season. Several strong defensive plays were made during the contest. Most notably Jessica Vaughn (SR, Placerville) made two diving plays both requiring throws from her knees in the bottom of the seventh. The consecutive web gems shut down what might have started a late game rally for the home team.
In game two, Orange County native Julia Cruz (JR, Tustin) threw another impressive game allowing just four hits while striking out four and walking one. Cruz, pitching her way to a 6-1 record and a torrid 0.64 ERA, was dominant again. While her teammates hit her opponent well amassing 10 hits, they struggled to generate runs holding just a 1-0 lead until the top of the seventh inning when freshman Emily Nordhoff (Seattle) roped a single that plated Katerina Yale (SO, Yorba Linda) to give Cruz a two run lead and the margin of comfort she needed to close the game out to record her fourth shutout of the season.
Sophomore Gizelle Pera (Los Angeles) went five for eight at the plate, scoring four on the day. Michelle Harvey (SO, San Diego) also had a solid day going three for seven with two runs scored.
The Athenas continue to improve as they work through their remaining regional competition and first half SCIAC matchups. Between March 19 and March 31, the squad will play 11 games, taking on traditional northwest and east coast powers Linfield and Williams College.
In the near term, the Athenas take a team batting average of .349 among daily hitters and an impressive 10-2 W/L record combined between aces Weingart and Cruz to Austin, TX for a four game swing against Mary Hardin Baylor and Southwest Texas University. Games are on March 19 and 20 at 1 and 3pm.