ORANGE, Calif. – Two wins were needed and the Chapman University softball team swept a doubleheader over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps to earn a spot in the SCIAC Tournament. The Panthers won a marathon first game 1-0 and completed the sweep with a 9-5 win in game two.
Game 1 – W, 1-0 (11 inns.)
Freshman Sarah Hartmann was lights-out in the circle, tossing 11 shutout innings and overcoming the international tiebreaker rule in two of those innings to get the shutout. She allowed just five hits while striking out five and issuing just one walk.
In the first nine innings of the game, Hartmann allowed just three runners to reach scoring position. In the tenth, runners were placed on second due to SCIAC rules but still neither scored. On the other end of the inning, Anna Gurr was equal to the task for CMS.
Gurr allowed only seven hits and struck out four. Her only two walks were intentional walks to senior Amber Perez. The Panthers threatened in the sixth and eighth, getting a runner to third with two outs. However, Gurr worked out of the jam both times to carry the scoreless game deep into extra innings.
In the 10th, Perez made a smooth back-handed stop at shortstop and fired home to cut the runner down and save the go-ahead run. Hartmann struck out the next batter to end the inning. With runners on second and third in the 11th, freshman Sarah Sumida made the heads up play to fire home and, once again, cut down the lead runner at the plate to keep the game scoreless.
The Panthers capitalized on the runner placed at second in the 11th to get the crucial win. Perez was intentionally walked to start the inning and was sacrificed over along with freshman pinch runner Nina Noteboom to put two in scoring position with one out. Freshman Samantha Tong hit a long fly ball that dropped in the left field corner and bring in the game-winner.
Game 2 – W, 9-5
The Panthers rode the momentum of the big win in the first game into the second game. They scored two in the first and another in the second to take a 3-0 lead. CMS finally broke through in the third with four runs to grab a 4-3 lead. The Athenas used both corners to score all four runs, smashing a double to left and a triple to right.
Chapman responded in the bottom half, seizing a huge opportunity with CMS committing three errors in the inning. Perez reached on an error and scored on sophomore Elizabeth Runge's single to tie the game at 4-4. Freshman Christine Lo Verde hit a sacrifice fly to retake the lead and sophomore Analisa Ruff came around to score when a throw to the plate rolled all the way to the back stop. Runge scored on yet another error to make it 7-4.
Runge gave the Panthers two more insurance runs in the fourth with a two-run single to right. Sophomore Samantha Whalen came in to game two in relief and breezed through the fourth and fifth. Tong helped her out in the sixth when she ended the inning with a perfect throw from left to nail the runner at the plate.
CMS brought the tying run to the plate in the seventh as they quickly loaded the bases and scored a run on catcher's interference. A grounder to third resulted in another CMS runner being caught at the plate and a pop up behind the plate ended the game, sending the Panthers to the No. 4 seed in the SCIAC Tournament.
Whalen earned her ninth win after throwing four-plus innings and allowing just an unearned run in the seventh.
The Panthers earned their third trip to the SCIAC Tournament in five years and first since 2014 with the doubleheader sweep of CMS, which came in to the day in a tie for first with La Verne. Chapman will take on the host La Verne on Friday with the time TBA.
by Steven Olveda
Sports Information Director