The 2013 SCIAC Postseason Softball Tournament concluded today with No. 2-seeded Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Colleges' 13-2 victory over No. 1 University of Redlands to clinch the automatic bid to the NCAA Championships. Redlands stayed alive in the tournament by eliminating the University of La Verne in Saturday's first game, prevailing in a 4-1 decision and avenging yesterday's loss to the Leopards.
No. 1 Redlands vs. No. 2 CMS
With their morning triumph, the eighth-ranked Bulldogs moved on to game six of the double-elimination tournament, needing to take two from No. 15 CMS, which went 2-0 in Friday's action.
Redlands took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning, after back-to-back hits and an Athena error loaded the bases. With two outs, sophomore third baseman Linda Park (Torrance, CA) provided the well-timed belt down the left-field line, scoring freshman Grace Rose (Villa Park, CA) and junior second baseman Amanda Clark (Riverside, CA).
However, CMS responded by taking advantage of a two-out rally in the bottom of the second stanza, pushing five across on five hits. A pair of hits-by-pitch helped the Athenas' cause as well. Highlighting the outburst, Mikayla O'Neal crushed a long single up the middle to plate Katie Savard and Harmony Palmer.
A quick three-up and three-down half-inning by CMS ace, Hayley Schultz, put Redlands' defense right back out on the field. The Athenas continued to find holes in the field, producing another big inning with six runs coming in the third. Marie Bradvica and O'Neal both fired off doubles for two RBI each.
Redlands went to its bullpen, giving junior pitcher Kaitlyn Hooper (Riverside, CA) and sophomore utility player Nikoli Sharp (Lincoln, CA) time in the circle, but the Bulldog bats remained quiet as CMS ran away with the 13-2 victory.
Schultz provided her third complete-game effort of the tournament for CMS (32-11), dispersing six hits, giving up two runs, and striking out two on Saturday.
Uphold took the loss in a difficult outing, falling to 23-8 on the season.
Redlands must now wait for the NCAA's announcement for a possible at-large bid, with its No. 8 national ranking and 34-10 overall ranking providing hope for a continued season.
No. 1 Redlands vs. No. 4 La Verne
In Saturday's first game, Redlands avenged an earlier loss to the Leopards by capturing a 4-1 victory to stay alive in the SCIAC Postseason Tournament. After dropping four of five this season to La Verne, the Bulldogs finally got redemption in an elimination game to advance to the would-be final of the event that determines the automatic qualifier to the NCAA Championships.
After Beeman led off the second inning with a single up the middle, she moved to second on an infield ground-out. Park then provided a rocket down the left-field line, plating the speedy Beeman for the 1-0 lead.
The Bulldogs extended its advantage with a two-run effort in the subsequent frame, with Beeman tripling to right-center field and King crushing a single up the middle for one RBI each. These hits also bookended a La Verne pitching change, as Katherine Kibbe relinquished the circle to Rachel Hong.
The Leopards got on the board in the top of the fourth when Candice Nunez homered off of Uphold.
But the Maroon and Gray remained unfazed, firing off another score in the bottom of the fifth frame. After taking first on a walk, moving to second on a wild pitch, and advancing to third on a long fly-out, Beeman crossed home plate on a freshman designated player Dani Santos (Riverside, CA) single up the middle.
Uphold went the distance for the Bulldogs, earning her 23rd win of the season. This victory came while scattering seven hits and giving up one run.
Kibbe suffered the loss in 2.1 innings of work, which included six hits, three runs allowed and one strikeout.
Highlighted by a sweet 6-4-3 double play in the second, the Bulldog defense was nearly flawless and greatly improved from their previous meeting with La Verne.
Offensively, Beeman led a quartet of Bulldogs that combined for eight hits, as she went 2-for-2 with one RBI and three runs scored.
Nunez and Mackenzie Dutton were the only multi-hit contributors for the Leopards.
La Verne finished the tournament with a 25-16 overall record.