Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College softball team and Head Coach Shelley Whitaker for the third straight year have made it to the SCIAC Post Season Berth thanks to a sweep of the Tigers of Occidental College Saturday afternoon on Senior Day.
The Poets conclude the regular season 23-15, 13-11 SCIAC and finish in 4th place in the SCIAC seedings for the SCIAC Post Season Tournament set to take place this coming weekend on April 27 and 28. In the first round Whittier will travel to Riverside, Calif. to take on Redlands with game time to be determined.
Whittier who entered the doubleheader only needing one win to secure their post season berth got help from freshman Emi Shimamoto who finished the series 6-7 with a homerun, three doubles, two runs, and five RBI's. Her sister Jacqueline Shimamoto who bats leadoff for Oxy also had a big day at the plate finishing 2-5 with an RBI, a double and a pair of walks.
Game 1(W, 7-3)
Whittier jumped out in front with a two spot in the first sparked by a Shimamoto double to left center that drove in Nikki Mendoza. But the Poet bats remained hot and plated three in the second with another double from Shimamoto that drove in Alexandra Flores and Mendoza that extended the Poet lead to 5-0.
Oxy began chipping away at the lead and added runs in the third and fourth to pull within three but that's as close as they would get as Whittier's Mendoza scored on a passed ball in the fourth, while Courtney Grana singled in Mendoza in the sixth that moved the score to 7-3 giving the Poets a lead they would not give up.
Courtney DeLano started on the mound for the Poets and went 3.1 innings and surrendered two runs (1 earned) on four hits to go with four strikeouts earning her eleventh win on the season. She was relieved in the middle of the third by Jessica Rosnack who pitched 3.2 innings giving up one run on two hits, while striking out three.
At the plate Whittier was led by Shimamoto who finished 4-4 with a run and three RBI's, while Mendoza finished 3-3 with four runs scored and one RBI.
Game 2 (W, 4-0)
The Poets used two blasts from Mendoza and Shimamoto and a complete game three hit shutout pitched by DeLano to earn the 4-0 win in game two of the doubleheader. Both homeruns hit were two run homers and happened in the third and fifth.
With the win DeLano now improves to 12-8.
At the dish Whittier was led by Shimamoto who finished 2-3 with a run and two RBI's, while Mendoza finished 1-3 with a run scored and two runs batted in.