After a taxing 13 day, 11 game run that included travel and four games in Texas over Spring Break, the CMS Athenas return to SCIAC play in second place, poised to aggressively challenge for the 2009 conference championship. They are currently 20-6 overall and 9-3 in conference.
Saturday, April 4 will kick off the second half of the SCIAC schedule. The Athenas will play six SCIAC double-headers in April, five of them at home. The race for the conference championship is tight with the top three teams each one loss behind each other.
Heading into the all important second half of SCIAC play, the Athenas are led offensively by a trio of sophomores and a freshman. Gizelle Pera (SO, Los Angeles) leads all starters with a batting average of .406, 26 hits, 24 runs and an on-base percentage of .563. Melissa Munoz (SO, Union City) leads the team with 25 RBIs and 25 hits while batting .338 on the year. Michelle Harvey (SO, San Diego) is heating up just in time as a critical table setter with 24 hits, 14 runs, and an average of .320. Newcomer Emily Nordhoff (FR, Seattle) has stepped up with a huge offensive contribution leading all hitters with nine doubles, while driving in 18 runs and batting .328 to date.
In the circle, the Athenas carry an impressive team ERA of 1.80 into the second half of SCIAC play. Julia Cruz (JR, Tustin) and Erika Weingart (SR, Brea) continue to carry the load with a combined 17-5 record and ERAs of 1.03 and 2.62 respectively. Both veteran hurlers are improving with each outing and are on pace to peak for the final weekends of conference play and the SCIAC post-season tournament. Backing up Cruz and Weingart, freshmen pitchers Emma Friedenberg (Danville) and Becca Gularte (Sunnyvale) are earning valuable experience and clearly demonstrating their readiness for collegiate level competition.
To date, the Athenas are outscoring opponents 146-61, outhitting opponents 221-158, outwalking opponents 92-33 and outstealing opponents 38-45 vs. 15-17. This prolific attack is best illustrated in the squad's team on-base percentage of .405 vs. opponents' .279.
Defensively, the young squad continues to improve putting together 12 error free games in their first 26 outings. They current team fielding percentage of .962 promises improvement as the underclassmen get more game experience.
The Athenas are back in action this weekend hosting rival Pomona-Pitzer at noon on Saturday at Athena Field.