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The Sagehen Report: Week of March 5

Leah Bleichner '15 had eight RBI in the softball team's doubleheader sweep of La Verne.

Leah Bleichner '15 had eight RBI in the softball team's doubleheader sweep of La Verne.

The women's softball team celebrates after Leah Bleichner’s game-winning two-run single in the 10-9 win in the nightcap of the La Verne doubleheader.

The women's softball team celebrates after Leah Bleichner’s game-winning two-run single in the 10-9 win in the nightcap of the La Verne doubleheader.

This week in Pomona-Pitzer Athletics saw the Softball team and Women’s Water Polo team both show impressive resiliency with two comeback wins in the same day, while the nationally ranked Women’s Tennis team had an impressive opening match of the 2012 season.

Softball faced a tough challenge on paper coming into its home doubleheader against a La Verne team that was 9-2 on the year, but the Sagehens prevailed in dramatic fashion with two walk-off wins, including a 6-5 victory in the opener and a 10-9, eight-inning win in the nightcap to improve to 4-2 in the SCIAC. Leah Bleichner ’15 had eight RBI combined in the doubleheader, including the two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning that turned a 9-8 deficit into a 10-9 win.

That two-run single represented the last of several comebacks for the Sagehens, which fell behind 5-0 in the opening game and 3-0 in the nightcap. Bleichner had three RBI in the opener, including a two-run single to cut the lead to 5-2 and a bases loaded walk in the sixth to tie the score. Ashley Morello PI ’15 then singled and reached second with two outs in the seventh, and Jessica Liu ’15 singled home the winning run to give Pomona-Pitzer the victory.

In the nightcap, Bleichner hit her first career homer in the fourth, a three-run shot to tie the game at 3-3 after La Verne had pulled ahead 3-0. Emily Glass ’15 added a double in the fourth and an RBI single in the fifth to help put Pomona-Pitzer ahead 7-3, but La Verne rallied to take an 8-7 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh. Glass, though, came through again with an RBI double after Bri Marcantoni PI ’12 led off with a double, and Bleichner was able to come up big in the eighth inning with the game-winner. The Sagehens will be in action at home on Friday for a non-conference doubleheader with Staten Island before traveling to Whittier on Saturday.

Women’s Water Polo was in action after a three-week layoff and came up with three wins in four matches at the Posada Royale Invitational at Cal Lutheran. The Sagehens defeated Concordia (7-6) and Azusa Pacific (7-5) on Friday, as they came from behind to win in the fourth quarter both times after falling behind 5-4. Annie Oxborough-Yankus PI ’12 had the tying goals in both games, while Chrissie Alving-Trinh ’15 had the eventual game-winner against Concordia and Alyssa Woodward PI ’15 had the go-ahead goal against Azusa Pacific. The Sagehens also defeated St. Francis (N.Y.) on Saturday to stretch their winning streak to five matches, before Cal State Monterey Bay was able to hold them off in the final match of the tournament 13-10.

Women’s Tennis, ranked No. 9 in the nation, started its 2012 season at Cal Lutheran and had a dominant performance in an 8-1 win. Nobody was more dominant than Sammy Chao ’14, who did not lose a single game in either singles or doubles, earning a 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 2 singles, and adding an 8-0 win at No. 2 doubles with teammate Arthi Padmanabhan ‘14. Padmanabhan also earned a convincing win at No. 3 singles 6-1, 6-1, while nationally ranked Jamie Solomon PI ’13, who is ranked 14th in Division III in singles, won 6-4, 5-7, 11-9 in a dramatic match at No. 1 singles. The Sagehens are home this week for matches against Vassar on Wednesday, UC Santa Cruz on Friday and Trinity-Texas on Saturday. 

Men’s Tennis split its first two SCIAC matches of the year, suffering a narrow 5-4 loss to Cal Lutheran and defeating Occidental 7-2. The Sagehens were slightly shorthanded as Uday Singh ’12 was ill and did not compete in his usual spot at No. 4 singles, forcing the bottom of the line-up to slide up one spot. Chris Wiechert PI ’14 was unbeaten in both singles and doubles in the two matches to lead the way for the Sagehens, while Tommy Meyer ’12 bounced back from a tough three-set loss to Cal Lutheran to win his match against Occidental easily. The Men’s Tennis team has home matches this week with Mary Washington on Thursday, Swarthmore and Haverford on Friday and Trinity-Texas on Saturday. 

Women’s Lacrosse had a strong performance in an overtime loss to Adrian, an NCAA Tournament team from a year ago on Tuesday. The Sagehens had a good chance to win the game, as Jana London PI ‘14 scored her fifth goal to put Pomona-Pitzer ahead 11-10 with just over two minutes to play. However, Adrian found the equalizer after Sagehen goalkeeper Casey Leek ‘14 was called for a foul and was out of net, and then scored twice in the first overtime to get the win. Leek had a phenomenal performance for Pomona-Pitzer with 18 saves in a losing cause.

Baseball got another impressive outing from pitcher Travis Rooke-Ley PI ’12, who improved to 5-0 by allowing only two runs in seven innings against Occidental. Jake Bruml ’15 broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth with a solo homer and the Sagehens were able to hold off a comeback attempt from the Tigers in the ninth for an 8-5 win. Bruml added another homer in the Saturday doubleheader, while James Campbell ’12 had one as well, but Occidental was able to bounce back to take the final two games of the series 12-10 and 11-4.  The Sagehens have a home doubleheader with La Verne on Saturday at 11 a.m.

Men’s and Women’s Track and Field were at a SCIAC quad meet at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and received some impressive performances. The Men’s 4x400 relay team recorded the fastest time in Division III Outdoor Track and Field so far this season of 3:21.79 at the event with Greg Hook PI ‘14, Adam Faison PI ‘15, Matt Sloane ‘14 and Ryan Meyer ‘12 winning handily. Anders Crabo ’12 also won the 5000 meters for the Sagehens with a 15:34.74, winning the race by almost five seconds.

On the women’s side, Alex Oxborough-Yankus PI ’14 recorded the No. 9 all-time Pomona-Pitzer mark in the hammer, finishing fifth with a 108' 3" throw. She also had the No. 10 all-time PP mark in the javelin, finishing second overall with a 112' 7" throw. Oxborough-Yankus also came in second at the event in the discus (90' 9") while Ellen Yamasaki PI ‘15 was fourth (84' 4").

In addition, Leslie Canter PI ‘12 ran the third-fastest all-time Pomona-Pitzer mark in the steeplechase with a 12:11.8, and Tasha Block ‘14 had the ninth-fastest in the event as well (13:34.8). Katie Barton ‘15 ran the No. 10 all-time Pomona-Pitzer mark in the 100 hurdles with a 16.24, good for third place overall at the event. All American Annie Lydens ’13 ran her first event of the spring after undergoing off-season foot surgery and came in second in the 1500 meters as she looks to build her stamina back up to make a run at the national championships in May in the 1500 and the 5000. 

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