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April 14, 2012

Poets and Sagehens combine to play 19 innings; Whittier grabs doubleheader sweep

Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com

CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Whittier College Poets and the Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens combined to play 19 innings on the afternoon but Whittier stole the show sweeping the doubleheader winning 9-8 and 5-4. 

Whittier improves to 18-14, 9-11 SCIAC, while Pomona drops to 18-15, 11-7 SCIAC.  With The doubleheader sweep the Poets' chances of making the SCIAC Post Season Tournament remain intact. 

Game 1(W, 9-8)

Whittier jumped out in front 3-0 after the first behind a two run shot from senior Denisse Martinez who followed a Courtney Grana double that drove in Nikki Mendoza who led off the inning with a single.  In the second inning Whittier answered again tacking on another run after Martinez walked driving in Jordan Learn.  This moved the score to 4-0 but it soon dwindled away as Pomona came racing back to put up a four spot in the fourth tying the game up at 4-4.

Pomona later took a two run lead after they put up two in the sixth but with two outs in the top half of the seventh Grana came up clutch with a single down the left field line past a diving Jessica Liu at third driving in the two runs forcing extras. 

After a scoreless eighth, Whittier put up three runs in the ninth behind singles from Alyse Gutierrez and Samantha Mellano and in the bottom half of the inning Jessica Rosnack shut the door on the Sagehens despite getting a scare when she gave up a two run shot to Marcantoni that pulled the Sagehens within one.  But she buckled down and got the next two batters to groundout to preserve the one run victory and her eighth win of the season.             

Starting Poet pitcher Courtney DeLano went 3.2 innings giving up four runs on four hits, while Anna Cade went 2.2 innings giving up two runs on four hits to go with two strikeouts.

Whittier was led on offense by Mendoza who finished 4-4 with three runs, while Alexandra Flores, Mellano, and Martinez each finished 2-5.        

Game 2(W, 5-4)

The Poets used 16 hits in the second game of the doubleheader but was only able to push five runs across the plate in the 5-4 victory.  The second game started off quicker than the first with Pomona-Pitzer being the only team to score in the first three innings.

But it was only a matter of time before Whittier's bats got going again when they put up two runs in the fifth behind a two run blast from Martinez who connected for her second in the series to put Whittier up 2-1.  Pomona answered though in the ensuing inning tying the game up at 2-2 after a double from Bleichner and back to back singles from Glass and Hynes. 

After a scoreless seventh that forced extras Whittier answered quickly in the eighth and took another lead behind a two run blast to left from DeLano, but again Pomona answered with a two run blast of their own in the bottom half of the inning from Buika that forced the game into the ninth.  After a scoreless ninth Whittier was able to put a run across the plate in the tenth behind a Martinez single that drove in Emi Shimamoto.

In the Pomona half of the inning they got a runner into scoring position with no outs but were unable to get her across as DeLano struck out one and forced two into ground outs that preserved the one run victory. 

Whittier's Rosnack started and went 5.1 innings giving up an earned run on six hits and then gave way to Cade who pitched 2.0 innings giving up two runs on three hits.  DeLano then came in to relieve her and went the last 2.2 innings and surrendered just two hits earning her the win, her tenth on the season.

On offense Whittier was led by Mendoza who finished 3-6, while Martinez finished 3-4 with a run and three RBI's. Freshman Xzandra Miranda-Castro also received quality at bats as she also finished 3-6.

Whittier returns to the diamond as they travel to Thousand Oaks, Calif. tomorrow, Sunday, April 15 to take on the Regals of Cal Lutheran University with game times slated to begin at 12pm and 2pm.  This doubleheader was originally scheduled for Friday, April 13 but due to the rain it was pushed to tomorrow.