SPOKANE, Wash. – The Claremont-Mudd-Scripps softball team came up short, losing 5-2 to George Fox in the first game of the Spokane Regional in the NCAA Tournament. This marks George Fox's first ever NCAA appearance and win. With the loss, the Athenas are sent to the bottom half of the bracket to face the host school, Whitworth, in an elimination game tomorrow, May 14 at 1:30 p.m. In the double-elimination tournament, CMS can still vie for a regional championship in the days to come.
CMS got things going in the bottom of the first as freshman Victoria Huynh (CMC) led off inning with a walk and then senior Tara Robinson (CMC) bunted her way on base. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch but then were stranded after two strikeouts and a pop up.
CMS sophomore starter Anna Gurr (CMC) forced a pair of ground outs in the second to hold the Bruins with one runner on base. The first two innings remained scoreless as GFU's Madison Sorensen struck out four Athenas in that time.
George Fox broke the game open in the top of the third with a four hit, four-run inning.
The Athenas had another opportunity when sophomore designated player Briana Halle (CMC) hit a one-out single to right field in the bottom of the fourth. The Bruins' catcher, Courtney Howard threw out her second runner of the day to stifle CMS' momentum. Howard would end up with four of the team's five RBI as well.
The Bruins got a runner on base in the top of the fifth but then freshman Reeve Grobecker (CMC) turned a nice double play on a line drive to her at second base. GFU nabbed one more run in that inning to increase their lead to 5-0 and CMS was unable to counter immediately.
Sophomore Carly Roleder (CMC) showed her mettle at shortstop today. She made the first play of the game – a hard line drive right back at her – and then made a total of four assists plus another play on a soft liner that took her up the middle.
The top of the order came up for CMS in the bottom of the sixth. Huynh and Robinson used their speed and small ball to get on and then were advanced to second and third by senior Katie Savard (CMC) to bring Roleder to the plate. She sent a fly to left field and drove in both runners to cut the Bruins lead to 5-2.
The top of the order gave CMS life once again in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs already recorded, Huynh earned a walk and then Robinson got her fourth hit on the day, slapping a single through the right side. Unfortunately, GFU's Sorensen induced an infield pop up to end the inning and the game.
Tomorrow, CMS faces the host school, the Whitworth Pirates (29-14), at 1:30 p.m. PDT. With a win, the Athenas will go back-to-back and play the loser of the Linfield and George Fox game played in the morning.
By Emily Nordhoff
Sports Information Director
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