The University of Redlands softball team traveled to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges on Saturday morning with hopes of squeezing in two Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) games before it became too wet to play. The Bulldogs battled back to tie it in the opener but saw the game slip away in the bottom of the seventh, 3-4. During the nightcap, Redlands struggled to counter the Athenas' offense and trailed 0-6 in the top of the seventh when the game was called due to rain.
After CMS put one on the board in the bottom of the second, Redlands immediately answered with a run in the top of the third of the first game. With one runner on and two outs, senior designated player Shannon Skrzynski(Pomona, CA) doubled to center field to plate sophomore left fielder Jaci Sanchez (Lakewood, CA) from first base.
However, the tie score was short-lived, as the Athenas tacked on another run in the bottom of the third. After first-year pitcher Jocelyn Hernandez (Downey, CA) lifted junior hurler Lindsey Mifsud (Belmont, CA) from the circle, Redlands stepped up with a critical defensive play at the plate to keep it a one-run game. Senior shortstop Ursyla Baumgarten (Penngrove, CA) snagged the ground ball and fired it home to junior catcher Nova Siegel (Fairfield, CA) for the important out.
Neither team managed a run over the next two-and-a-half innings, with Hernandez retiring six of the seven batters she faced with solid pitching and great defensive support. Unfortunately, the Athenas managed to push one across in the bottom of the sixth after loading the bases. However, the Bulldogs got out of the inning with a strikeout and a groundout to limit the damage.
Trailing 1-3, Redlands battled to tie it up in the top of the seventh, beginning with senior third baseman Lali Garza's (Granite Bay, CA) leadoff single through the left side. After Sanchez's sacrifice bunt moved her over, first-year center fielder Samantha Rivas (Whittier, CA) blasted a hard-hit single to second base, which allowed enough time for Garza to advance to third. Skrzynski answered the call once again by doubling to center for two RBI.
However, the Athenas mustered one more run in the bottom of the seventh to steal the win and avoid extra innings.
During the second game, CMS put up a crooked number in the first inning, forcing the Maroon and Gray to play catch-up.
The Athenas managed to tack on single scores in the second and fifth frames, while Redlands struggled to find its bats. The visiting team's first knock came in the top of the fourth when senior right fielder Shandell Curtis (Upland, CA) split the defense with a single through the left side. Skrzynski provided another base hit in the top of the sixth.
Redlands (4-9, 3-4 SCIAC) faces Western Connecticut State University on Wednesday, March 14, in a 12 noon doubleheader at the Softball Field of Dreams.