Poets erupt for a combined 19 runs; Complete sweep of Occidental
Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The Whittier College softball team erupted for a combined 19 runs on 26 hits to sweep the Tigers of Occidental College Saturday afternoon to get back into the hunt for SCIAC Post Season contention.
Whittier improves to 11-9, 4-8 SCIAC, while Occidental drops to 3-15, 2-10 SCIAC.
Game 1 (W, 6-1)
Courtney DeLano started on the mound for the Poets and earned her seventh win of the season by pitching a complete a game giving up one run on two hits to go with six strikeouts.
Then in the fourth Whittier again added a run to take their second lead of the contest after Xzandra Miranda-Castro doubled down the left field line driving in DeLano. This gave Whittier a 2-1 lead and a lead they would not relinquish.
The Poets held this 2-1 lead going into the seventh until they opened up the game with a four spot in their half of the inning. Miranda-Castro led off with a single and Flores stepped up and hit a ball to third base that was mishandled and thrown away allowing Miranda-Castro to score. Shimamoto then stepped up and singled up the middle advancing Nikki Mendoza to second. Courtney Grana then came up and singled to right and after the next two batters were sat down the Poets' Samantha Mellano drove in two with a single to right that extended the Poet lead to 6-1.
DeLano then came in in the bottom half of the seventh and shut down the Tigers in order preserving the five run win.
On offense Whittier was led by Mendoza, Grana, and Shimamoto who each finished 2-3.
Game 2 (W, 13-3)
The Poets continued where they left off after game one and erupted for their second highest run total of the season with the first occurring back on March 3 when the Poets won 18-3 over the Regals of Cal Lutheran.
Jessica Rosnack earned the win pitching 6.0 innings giving up one run on three hits to go with eight strikeouts to drop her ERA to 4.27, while moving her record to 4-4 on the season.
The Tigers got off to a good start in the first inning when Jacqueline Shimamoto (older sister of Poet outfielder Emi Shimamoto) tripled through the right side to put herself in the scoring position. Ashley Noone then stepped up to the plate and brought Shimamoto home in the following at bat with a single down the right field line to give the Tigers an early 1-0 lead.
Whittier found their offense in the third inning when Shimamoto singled through the left side driving in Flores that evened the game up at 1-1. In the ensuing inning Whittier again added runs to their total as Flores drove in Miranda –Castro with a sacrifice fly and two batters later Shimamoto reached on a fielder's choice scoring Cindy Loza helping Whittier grab their first lead of the contest.
But the Purple & Gold didn't stop there and continued to pour it on as they put up three in the fifth behind a Mickala Gonzales single who was later driven in by Mercedez Cundiff who was getting her first action of the season. Flores then stepped to the plate and doubled to left center driving in Cundiff and Miranda-Castro that pushed the lead to 6-1.
In the sixth, freshman Mellano wanted to get into the mix and she did so in impressive fashion driving the first pitch she saw down the right field line ending with her standing up on third base and with an RBI after she drove in Gonzales.
In the following inning Whittier extended their lead and put the game out of reach as they put up six runs in the seventh capped off by a two run homer from Mellano who finished the game a single and a double shy of a cycle.
Whittier now turns their sights now on the Bulldogs of the University of Redlands who they take on tomorrow, March 25 in Riverside, Calif. with games slated for 12pm and 2pm. This doubleheader includes the makeup games from this past week which were rained out.