Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
CLAREMONT, Calif. – The Whittier College Softball team saw their run in the NCAA Division III National Championships come to a close Saturday falling 8-4 to No. 4 Linfield College.
After beating Claremont-M-S to open the West Regional, the Poets had to face-off against No. 4 Linfield College. They battled in Game 1 falling 6-5 and then returned the next day to take on the Wildcats in a double elimination contest but couldn't come out on top as they were knocked out 8-4.
Linfield strung together three runs across the opening three frames. Whittier though bounced back with a three spot in the top half of the 4th. Naomi Martinez (Marina Del Rey, Calif.) started things off with a double to left field. Brittany Attaway (Claremont, Calif.) followed with a single to left and then advanced into scoring position on an error. Jade Sanchez (Whittier, Calif.) kept the rally going bringing in one with a single through the left side and Hayley Wishner (Chino, Calif.) brought in another with a sacrifice bunt. The final run came in off the bat of Jannelle Ha (Arcadia, Calif.) who grounded out to the second baseman, which was deep enough to bring in the game-tying tally.
The Wildcats though responded in their at-bats in the bottom half with three of their own highlighted by a solo shot from Smotherma and a two-out single from Phillips.
Brianna MaGee (Torrance, Calif.) got into the mix in the 5th as she connected with a rare in-the-park homerun that made it a two-run game but that was the final run of the game for the Purple & Gold as Linfield would add a run in the 5th and 6th to secure a spot in the Super Regionals.
Ha got the start and went 3.2 Innings giving up five runs on six hits. She finishes the season 3-1. At the plate, Sanchez was 2-for-3 scoring once and driving in another. Ha was 2-for-3 with an RBI and MaGee was 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI.