Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Softball team gave up late leads Tuesday as they dropped a doubleheader to Denison University 11-9 (8 Innings) and 11-8 at Palmer Field.
The losses snap the Poets three game-winning streak as they drop back to .500 at 9-9, 5-3 SCIAC.
Game 1 (L, 11-9)
Denison got the bats going in the first game totaling 11 runs on 17 hits, which included two homeruns. But Whittier matched them run for run as it came down to extra innings to get a winner.
Marialena Ahern (Fremont, Calif.) drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly on the Poets first at bats. The Big Red would come back the very next inning though to add two themselves to take their first lead of the game but it wouldn't hold as the Purple & Gold would tie things up with Sierra Rodriguez (Whittier, Calif.) singling to left center that plated Rebecca Barber (El Monte, Calif.).
In the fourth a combined seven runs were scored but Whittier still managed to cling to a one-run lead at 6-5. Singles from Natalia Sanchez (Chino Hills, Calif.), Kaitlyn Garza (Chino, Calif.), Barber, Ally Fonseca (Pico Rivera, Calif.), and Rodriguez kept the offense going for the Purple & Gold with Brianna Alvarez (Montebello, Calif.) picking up a walk.
This lead would not hold however as Denison would capitalize on a throwing error the very next inning that deadlocked the game. Another error proved costly in the 6th as the Big Red would add another two runs on four hits that extended the lead to 8-6.
The Poets though would rally and would scrap for a run over the next two innings, which included Sanchez homering in the bottom half of the 7th that forced the game into extras. But playing with international rules, the Big Red would strike with Lauren Secaras adding a three run shot that secured the win.
Annika Seedborg (Hawaiian Gardens, Calif.) picked up the loss after going 5.2 innings giving up seven runs on 10 hits. Alvarez finished 2-4 with two runs scored and a run batted in. Sanchez was 2-4 with a run scored and an RBI, while Rodriguez was 2-5 with two runs batted in.
Game 2 (L, 11-8)
The bats on both sides remained hot in the second game and Whittier held a late lead 8-6 going into the top half of the 7th but they couldn't hold it as Denison would rally with a five spot that took the sweep.
The Big Red jumped out on top with a three spot in the top half of the 1st. Whittier though responded with four of their own over the next two innings, which included a three-run jack from Sanchez that leveled the game at 4-4.
In the 5th, the Big Red tacked on another two to go back on top but again it wouldn't hold as Whittier would rally with three in the 6th thanks to Madison Crimi-Demichele (San Jose, Calif.) who added a double to right center that plated the go ahead runs.
Needing only three outs to secure the split, freshman Sam Casanas (La Habra, Calif.) faced a tough middle of the lineup and was touched up for five runs on four hits that handed her, her first loss on the season. She went a complete game and gave up 11 runs with only six being earned on 17 hits.
Sanchez led the offense once again going 1-3 scoring once and driving in four. Garza was 1-1 with two runs scored and a run batted in and Rodriguez and Kacey Whitney (Cypress, Calif.) were each 1-3 and 1-2, respectively, each scoring once.
Whittier returns to the diamond this Saturday, March 18 as they travel to Claremont-M-S for two games beginning at 12:00pm and 2:00pm.