Softball finishes 3rd in SCIAC Post Season

Softball finishes 3rd in SCIAC Post Season

Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com

LA VERNE, Calif. – The No. 3 seeded Poets of Whittier College exited the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Post Season Tournament Saturday as they went 1-2 over the two days.

Whittier wraps up their 2017 season going 21-22, 16-12 SCIAC, while finishing 3rd in the final SCIAC Standings.

Over the two days the Poets lost to No. 2 Claremont-M-S and No. 1 La Verne but held off No. 4 Chapman University.

Game 1 (Claremont-M-S; L, 6-2)

The Poets faced off against the conferences top pitcher in Anna Gurr in game one of the post-season tournament.  They got after her in the 1st inning collecting two runs on four hits.  Sierra Rodriguez (Whittier, Calif.) led off the inning with a single to the shortstop beating out the throw.  Kacey Whitney (Cypress, Calif.) and Marialena Ahern (Fremont, Calif.) then followed with singles up the middle, which loaded the bases.  Then Natalia Sanchez (Chino Hills, Calif.) and Kaitlyn Garza (Chino, Calif.) would come up clutch singling down the left field line and grounding out the shortstop that put WC on top 2-0.

Samantha Blum (San Jose, Calif.) got off to a strong start with two opening strikeouts in the bottom half of the frame, but was unlucky after that as two costly errors allowed the Athenas to tie up the game.

They tacked on another two in the 2nd again coming on two outs as Troutman hit a two-run shot to right center putting CMS on top 4-2 and from there they didn't look back as Troutman connected on her second blast of the game in the 5th, which proved insurance.

Whittier collected seven hits for the game led by Ahern who went 2-3.  Blum picked up the loss going 4.0 innings giving up four earned runs on eight hits, while striking out four. 

Game 2 (Chapman; W, 10-8)

Whittier came back on day two and kept their SCIAC Post-Season Tournament hopes alive as they edged Chapman 10-8 bumping them out of Post-Season contention.

The Purple & Gold fell into an early hole as they saw themselves trail 6-0 into the 3rd.  But in the bottom half of the frame they erupted for a nine spot on five hits, while capitalizing on two Panther errors. 

Brianna Alvarez (Montebello, Calif.) led off the inning with a single to second base and moved up to second following a fielding error by the Chapman third baseman, which allowed Rodriguez to reach safely.

Whitney stepped up and singled to the pitcher bringing in one and Ahern followed driving a sacrifice fly to right field that cut the deficit to four.

Sanchez stepped in as the next batter and drew a walk that put runners on first and second and Garza would get lucky soon after getting hit by a pitch that loaded the bases.

Dani Rozhon (Apple Valley, Calif.) came in as a pinch hitter and came up clutch as she singled through the right side bringing in one.  Ally Fonseca (Pico Rivera, Calif.) reached on a fielders choice, which brought in another and Megan Heal (San Jose, Calif.) capped it off with a single through the left side that scored a pair.

But the Poets weren't done there as the top of the order came around again to rally.  Alvarez reached on an error by the third baseman and was followed by Rodriguez grounding out to second base and Whitney doubling to left that kept the rally going putting WC on top 9-6.

In the 4th, CU got one back as they cut the deficit to two as Ru singled through the left side but in the 6th, the Poets' Ahern would put the game out of reach as she would connect for a solo shot to right center that helped secure the Poet win.

Whittier only managed seven hits on the day with Whitney going 2-4 with a run scored and three runs batted in.  Ahern was 1-3 scoring once and driving in two, while Alvarez was 1-4 with two runs scored.

Annika Seedborg (Hawaiian Gardens, Calif.) got the start and only lasted 1.1 innings giving up four runs on three hits.  Blum came in relief and went the final 5.2 getting the win despite giving up four runs on nine hits.        

Game 3 (La Verne; L, 8-0)

Whittier had a short turn-around after their game with Chapman to take on the Top-seeded Leopards in an afternoon match-up.  This game to see who would face Claremont-M-S in the Championship on Sunday.

The Poets were 2-2 against the Leos coming into the contest, winning their last two meetings at Palmer Field.

But today, the Poets found it tough to get any offense going against Elisa Ponce who threw a complete game no-hitter as WC was shutout 8-0 getting eliminated from the Tournament.

Blum went 2.0 innings giving up five runs on four hits, while Seedborg went 1.1 giving up three runs on five hits.  

Despite not getting a hit, the Poets did however collect seven walks but couldn't bring any of them around to score.