Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
REDLANDS, Calif. – The Whittier College Softball team traveled to the University of Redlands Saturday and came away with a split at The field of Dreams.
Whittier was coming off a split with Claremont-M-S and a sweep of Puget Sound the week prior but found themselves in a battle with the Bulldogs as they move to 6-5-1, 2-2 SCIAC.
Game 1 (W, 7-6)
The Purple & Gold had to play catch-up in the first game of the doubleheader and it then turned into a back and forth contest with WC holding on for the 7-6 victory.
Redlands put up two runs in the bottom half of the first but saw the Poets storm back with three of their own in the top half of the second thanks to Alli Fonseca (Pico Rivera, Calif.) doubling to center field and Hannah Angileri (San Jose, Calif.) singling through the left side.
But again this lead wouldn't hold as UR would answer with another three in there half of the frame that gave them back the lead at 5-3. In the 3rd, Whittier would continue swinging it bringing across another three this time with Brittany Attaway (Claremont, Calif.) and Danica Cooley (Paia, HI) putting on a double steal, allowing Cooley to score. Hayley Wishner (Chino, Calif.) then stepped in and singled in Attaway and Fonseca would drive in Naomi Martinez (Marina del Rey, Calif.) with a sacrifice fly to center that moved the score to 6-5.
In the bottom half of the 3rd, UR managed to bring across the game-tying run but the very next inning the Poets would go on top for good putting together the game-winning rally on two hits, while capitalizing on an error. With two outs, Cooley started things off reaching on an error by the center fielder. Attaway then reached with a single up the middle and that brought up Martinez who singled to second base allowing the go-ahead run to come in.
Alexis Vargas (Pomona, Calif.) picked up the win going 4.0 innings giving up six runs on nine hits as she improves to 3-2. Sam Casanas (La Habra, Calif.) came in relief and picked up the save, her third of the season throwing 3.0 scoreless innings with two strikeouts.
Six Poets recorded double digit hit performances. Wishner was 2-3 scoring once and driving in two. Fonseca was 2-3 with a run scored and two RBI's and Martinez was 2-3 with a run scored and RBI. Natalia Sanchez (Chino Hills, Calif.) came in as a pinch hitter late and finished 2-4 driving in one, Attaway was 2-4 with a run scored and Jade Sanchez (Whittier, Calif.) was 2-3 coming across once.
Game 2 (L, 10-8)
The second game of the doubleheader was a high scoring affair with a combined 18 runs being scored on 26 hits. UR put up a five spot in the bottom half of the first forcing the Poets to play catch-up early. They got two back in the 2nd with Wishner singling up the middle that plated Sanchez and Martinez and then added another three in the 3rd with Fonseca drawing a walk that scored one capped off with Martinez single to left that scored Cooley and Sierra Rodriguez (Whittier, Calif.).
Redlands added another two late in the game to extend their lead to 10-5 forcing the Poets' backs to the wall but they managed to scrap with three runs in the 7th. Martinez blasted a two run shot to left and after a J. Sanchez triple to right field, N. Sanchez would sacrifice her in that cut the deficit to two. Wishner stepped in and singled back to the pitcher keeping the rally going but a pop-up by Angileri and a strikeout by Cooley would end the comeback.
Amanda Melodia (Placentia, Calif.) picked up the loss going 1.2 innings giving up eight runs on seven hits. Casanas came in relief and threw a strong game the rest of the way going 4.1 innings surrendering just two runs on seven hits.
Rodriguez finished the game going 4-5 with a run scored. Martinez was a perfect 3-3 with 4 RBI's and two runs scored. J. Sanchez was 2-3 scoring twice and Wishner was 2-3 with two runs batted in.
Whittier now concludes play in the month of February and returns to the diamond next Saturday, March 3 when they host Chapman University with game times set for 12:00pm and 2:00pm.