Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Softball team had their chances Saturday to earn a trip to the SCIAC Tournament Championship Game in their match-up with No. 2 Pomona-Pitzer, but couldn't hold on late as they fell 6-5 in extra innings.
The Purple & Gold held a 5-3 lead heading into the top half of the 7th and were an out away from securing a spot in the title game but couldn't get it done as the Sagehens' Hurley came up with the biggest hit of her career, a double to right field that brought in a pair of runs forcing extra-innings.
PP used a Poet miscue in their opening at-bats to go on top 2-0. Whittier was able to get one back the very next inning also using an error to cut the deficit in half with Jannelle Ha (Arcadia, Calif.) capitalizing with a single to left. The lead was stretched back to two in the 3rd with the Sagehens again adding an unearned run. But this advantage soon diminished as Whittier added two in the 5th and 6th Innings to go on top 5-3.
They tied things up in the 5th on three hits. Ha started things off with a single to center and then advanced to third on a throwing error by the third baseman. Emily Facio (Chino, Calif.) then subbed in and stole second getting two runners in scoring position and after that Sierra Rodriguez (Whittier, Calif.) reached on a fielder's choice scoring one and Brianna MaGee (Torrance, Calif.) capped things off with a single to left. With the bases loaded and two outs, Whittier was in prime position to add to their lead with the red hot Brittany Attaway (Claremont, Calif.) coming to the plate but she couldn't convert as she would go down swinging.
The very next inning Whittier was able to go on top for the first time with Ashlei Sanchez (San Dimas, Calif.) adding a double to left center that plated Ha and Sophia Paniagua (Glendora, Calif.). But in the 7th, PP was able to rally with two outs with Hurley singling to center and Falkstrom hitting a sacrifice fly to left.
After that the game went to extras and it was deadlocked over the ensuing two frames until PP was able to break through in the 10th. Falkstrom led things off with a walk and then moved up to second thanks to a sacrifice bunt by Reynoso. After the second out coming on a groundout Campion stepped in and singled to center that allowed the eventual game-winning run to come in.
Whittier had their opportunity in the bottom half of the inning to tie things up with Attaway singling to center and then moving up to second with a stolen base. She got to third with a sacrifice bunt being put down by Naomi Martinez (Marina Del Rey, Calif.) but on an ensuing groundout by Ha to the shortstop, would get gunned down at home ending the comeback.
Ha got the start and went 6.1 Innings giving up five runs (one earned) on five hits. Sam Casanas (La Habra, Calif.) came in relief and threw the final 3.2 innings but surrendered the go-ahead run as she collected her seventh loss on the season.
Ha had a day both on the mound and at the plate. Despite earning the no-decision she was able to go 4-for-5 at the plate scoring twice and driving in another. MaGee was 2-for-5 with an RBI and Sanchez was 1-for-3 with a pair of runs batted in.