The CMS Athenas swept three robust opponents during spring break compiling a 6-0 record on the week. West Region foes, Mary Hardin Baylor and Linfield College visited Claremont only to be greeted with double-header losses. Between these solid outings, the resilient Athenas traveled to conference rival La Verne and handed them two losses.
Several Athenas delivered stout performances during the week as CMS outscored opponents 34-18 and outpitched opponents amassing a 1.83 ERA over the six games compared to opposing pitchers’ 4.93 ERA.
Ten different CMS batters recorded multiple hits, while eleven crossed the plate at least once during the stretch.
Gizelle Pera (Junior, Los Angeles [pictured right]) led the attack batting .421 for the week with 2 doubles and her first collegiate home run over the left-center fence against La Verne. She was prolific on the basepaths as well scoring a team leading 9 runs and stealing 3 bases in 4 attempts. Also instrumental in the assault, Rebecca King (Sophomore, Bellevue, WA [pictured left]) batted an impressive .357 on the week, scoring 4 runs and driving in another 6. King was clutch several times with two and three RBI doubles that opened the flood gates for her teammates.
Michelle Harvey (Junior, San Diego) continued to hit and score as a premier table setter and freshman Harmony Palmer (Oceanside) maintained her torrid pace driving in 7 runs, scoring 5 and pounding out her third home run of the year. Emily Nordhoff’s (Sophomore, Seattle, WA) solo home run in the top of the seventh put the Athenas on top for good in game one of the double-header SCIAC sweep – her first round-tripper of the year coming at a perfect time. And in another burst of offensive heroics, Megan Morris (Junior, Ridgewood, NJ) enjoyed a walk-off double to finish the Crusaders from Mary Hardin Baylor in the second half of that twin bill.
The week truly saw contributions from almost everyone. Pinch hitter Kara Mantani (Junior, Redwood City) came out of the dug-out with steely nerves a couple of times, one of them producing a bases loaded triple.
In the circle, the trio of sophomores continued to impress. Amassing a collective ERA of 1.83 over the six game run, they were led by work horse Rebecca Gularte (Sunnyvale) who threw three complete games, giving up only 2 runs in each of them. The northern California native is sitting atop an imposing 8-1 record and 1.48 ERA and to all observers, appears to be getting stronger with every outing.
Stirring great excitement among her teammates and fans, Amanda Banducci (San Mateo [pictured center]) made her collegiate pitching debut against Mary Hardin Baylor, entering the game with the bases loaded and their clean-up hitter at the dish. After handling them deftly, she went on to earn the win and the respect of all in attendance. Some 48 hours later, it was “déjà vu all over again.” She was called upon once again with the bases loaded and La Verne’s strongest stick at the plate. And in fine fashion, she prevailed again earning her second victory of the week. Banducci’s success is particularly sweet for the Athenas as she tore her labrum during a fall practice her freshman year and is a very welcome addition after a year of diligent rehabilitation.
Rounding out the blitz was pitcher Emma Friedenberg (Sophomore, Danville) who is now 5-1 on the year, including a notable win over strong hitting Linfield College.
The Athenas are now 15-2 on the year overall, 8-0 in SCIAC play. They host the visiting Jumbos of Tufts College Tuesday at 3:30 in a single game shoot-out.