Poets win fourth straight; Still in the hunt for SCIAC Post Season Contention

Poets win fourth straight; Still in the hunt for SCIAC Post Season Contention

Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The Whittier College softball team after sweeping the Sagehens of Pomona-Pitzer came back yesterday afternoon to sweep the Regals of Cal Lutheran University 6-4, and 13-3 to win their fourth straight.

Whittier now improves to 20-14, 11-11 SCIAC and have now reached the 20 win plateau for the sixth straight season, the third under Head Coach Shelley Whitaker. 

The last time these two teams met back on March 3, Whittier was on the winning end of 18-3 and 5-4 victories and they finish the 2012 season with a clean sweep 4-0 over the Regals.

Game 1 (W, 6-4)

Courtney DeLano started on the mound for Whittier and went 3.2 innings and gave up three runs on seven hits unable to pick up her eleventh win of the season.  She gave way to Jessica Rosnack who came in relief and threw 2.1 innings giving up one run on two hits earning her the victory, her ninth of the season.  In the seventh Anna Cade came in to shut down the Regals and she did just that giving up just one hit picking up her second save of the season.

Whittier jumped all over Regal starter Nicolby Atallah forcing her out of the game after 5.0 innings of work after she gave up four runs on eleven hits tagging her with her tenth loss of the season. 

Whittier added the first run of the game in the second after Jordan Learn drove a single to left that knocked in Cindy Loza from third.  But Cal Lutheran answered right back in their half with a run that evened the score at 1-1.

In the ensuing inning Whittier again went back on top with a run in the third behind an illegal pitch that was thrown by Atallah that put Nikki Mendoza across.  But again Cal Lutheran answered with a run in their half of the inning to tie the game up once more at 2-2.

Cal Lutheran then got an opening in the fourth and capitalized taking their first lead of the game behind a throwing error by first baseman Emi Shimamoto.  But Whittier didn't go away and regained the lead with two in the fifth after Learn doubled to left field driving in Denisse Martinez and Samantha Mellano that put the Poets back on top 4-3.  After a scoreless sixth Whittier added to their lead by tacking on two more in the seventh after Learn singled to left to drive in DeLano and Erica Lespron that put Whittier up 6-3.  

Cal Lutheran did put a rally together in the seventh though and managed to put one run across the plate after a Lichtsinn double but Cade came in and shut down the side preserving the two run victory.

On offense Whittier was led by Martinez who finished 4-4 with two runs and Learn who also finished 4-4 but with four RBI's.                   

Game 2 (W, 13-3)   

In the second game of the doubleheader Whittier continued their offensive attack as they combined for 13 runs on 14 hits behind stellar pitching performances from from both Heather Salisbury and Rosnack. Salisbury started the game and threw 3.1 innings and gave up three runs on three hits to go with four walks and was relieved by Rosnack who went 2.2 innings giving up a mere one hit picking up her second win of the day and her tenth of the season. 

Whittier jumped all over Regal starter Katelyn Downing who went 4.0 innings giving up eight runs (three earned) on nine hits getting tagged with her 14th loss of the season.  Kayla Sakamoto came in to relieve her but was unable to stop the Poet offense as she gave up five runs on four hits in just one inning of work. 

Whittier added four runs in the first behind a two out rally.  Mendoza started the inning off with a single and was followed by Mickala Gonzales who also added a single.  This put runners into scoring position until DeLano drove them in with a single to left field.  After Learn reach base due to an error Alyse Gutierrez connected on her first hit of the game with a double to left field that drove in another two that put Whittier in front early.

After a scoreless second and third Whittier added on an insurance run in the fourth behind a Mellano single that drove in Mendoza but Cal Lutheran answered in their half of the inning putting three runs across the plate capped off by a Mertel double that drove in two. 

But Whittier continued to swing hot bats and added three in the fifth behind a Learn single and a Mendoza groundout.  But Whittier didn't stop there and added to their 8-3 lead as they tacked on five in the fifth led off by back to back singles from Martinez and Gonzales followed by a Learn single that put two runs across the plate.  But Whittier's Gutierrez answered again on the ensuing at bat with another double to left that drove in two that extended the Whittier lead to 12-3.  Then one batter later Shimamoto got into the mix and plated Whittier's last run driving in Gutierrez with a single to left that wound up being the last run scored from both squads.

Whittier was led on offense by Mendoza who finished 3-5 with two runs and two RBI's, while Gonzales finished 3-4 with two runs.  Freshman Gutierrez who stepped into a starting role with two starters unable to make the trip due to prior commitments stepped in to have a big day finishing the game two 2-4 with one run and four RBI's.

Whittier travels with their four game winning streak to Chapman University this Friday, April 20 for their final non-conference opponent with games slated for 4pm and 6pm.