CMS (7-2, 4-0 SCIAC) swept cross campus rival Pomona-Pitzer Saturday in chilly, overcast weather. Game 1 featured unique twists that only the Claremont College five college consortium can offer. In an environment where athletic opponents are share classes Monday-Friday, the diamond on Saturday offered an even closer rivalry.
Pitching for the Sagehens was senior Melanie Gularte. In the circle for the Athenas was her sister, sophomore hurler Rebecca Gularte (Sunnyvale). In a tense game that deadlocked at 1-1 after the first inning, sophomore Emily Lopez (Fresno) finally broke things open with an authoritative blast to left center plating freshmen Harmony Palmer (Oceanside [pictured left]) and Kendall Kritzik (Scottsdale, AZ) who was in to pinch run for newcomer Amanda Banducci (San Mateo).
Lopez' two run shot put CMS up 3-2 and they held P-P scoreless for the remaining three innings.
CMS' Gularte scratched out the win scattering 6 hits, while giving up 3 walks and recording 2 strike outs in 32 batters faced. The Athenas stranded 11 runners as they struggled to come up with the clutch hit on more than one occasion. Lopez' timely gap shot was the difference in the ballgame and the central California native's emotions were apparent as she cruised into second for the stand up double.
Teammates Michelle Harvey (San Diego), Harmony Palmer and Gizelle Pera (Los Angeles) continued to produce offensively going 3 for 6 collectively with 2 runs scored. A defensive miscue in the fourth was the only hiccup for the squad on a day that showcased several stellar plays with the leather and some tremendous throws from all over the yard.
In game 2, CMS broke out for 10 hits in an offensively explosive game while still stranding 8. Harmony Palmer went a staggering 4 for 4 (5 for 5 on the day, with 3 walks), with 5 RBIs driving in teammate Michelle Harvey three times (2 for 4 with 3 runs on the day). Pera continued her production as well going 1 for 3 with 2 runs scored. Junior Chelsea Baker (Tucson, AZ) played well generating one hit, one run and one RBI in two at-bats. The young team appeared to loosen up as the tension filled cross-campus rivalry played out and the sun broke through providing some welcome warmth to the afternoon.
In the circle, junior Melissa Munoz (Union City) started the first game of her collegiate career. Showing great promise, the newcomer to the circle faced 13 batters giving up only 1 hit. However, she gave up three runs on the outing. After 2 1/3, sophomore Emma Friedenberg (Danville [pictured right]) entered the game and completely shut down the Sagehens offense. Over the course of the following 4 and 2/3 innings, Friedenberg scattered only 4 hits, gave up 0 runs while striking out 2 and walking 0. Once again, CMS put together a very clean game defensively not committing any errors in the game and making several clutch defensive plays.
CMS takes a 4-0 record into Saturday's contests against the also undefeated University of Redlands Bulldogs. Both teams sit atop the SCIAC standings tied for first in what promises to be great softball action. Game one will begin at 12 noon at Athena field.