No. 9 Redlands Softball Sweeps CMS in SCIAC Battle of Nationally-Ranked Foes
The No. 9 University of Redlands softball team knocked off the 13th-ranked Athenas of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges in Saturday's Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference showdown at the "Field of Dreams." With big bats, solid defense, and effective pitching, the Bulldogs put it all together to capture important wins by scores of 10-2 and 3-2.
During the opener, CMS notched single runs in the second and fourth innings to take a 2-0 lead.
But the Maroon and Gray quickly recovered as sophomore center fielder Amanda Lievanos (Anaheim, CA) once again launched a long ball, scoring three runs on her ninth home run of the season.
After shutting down the Athenas in the top of the sixth, Redlands opened the floodgates with seven runs to win in a shortened contest. The Bulldogs successfully put the bat to the ball but also capitalized on five Athena miscues.
Junior pitcher Kayla Uphold (Fontana, CA) recorded her ninth win of the season from the mound, scattering four hits and giving up two runs.
During the nightcap, the teams battled to a scoreless tie through four-and-a-half innings, when Redlands pushed one across on a well-constructed series of hits and a sacrifice bunt. Sophomore left fielder Janelle Carrasco (Whittier, CA) collected the RBI on a bouncer to the short stop as senior catcher Kai Masutani came home.
However, the Athenas responded with a two-run showing in the top of the sixth, as senior catcher Rebecca King connected on a long single to left center.
Not to be outdone, the Bulldogs looked to freshman short stop Linda Park (Torrance, CA) to lead off the inning with her fifth home run of the year.
With the score tied at two apiece going into the seventh, Uphold returned to the circle to replace Ruelas, who had battled well through six innings with three strikeouts and two runs off of eight hits. Uphold quieted any scoring hopes by the Athenas, retiring three of four batters, including a strikeout to finish it out.
The Bulldogs stepped up in the seventh stanza with an exciting stretch of plays, as Carrasco connected on a well-placed chopper to score senior third baseman Molly Duran (Corona, CA), who led off the inning with a rocket of a single to center field.
Redlands (18-4, 12-0 SCIAC) continues to sit alone at the top of the SCIAC standings, holding a three-game lead over second-place Pomona-Pitzer Colleges. The Bulldogs return to the "Field of Dreams" on Sunday for a make-up doubleheader against Whittier College on Sunday at 12 noon.