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The Sagehen Report: Week of March 19

Martha Marich '12 had 20 goals in a 4-0 week for the Women’s Lacrosse team, including the late game-winners in back-to-back 11-10 victories over Puget Sound and Pacific (Ore.).

Martha Marich '12 had 20 goals in a 4-0 week for the Women’s Lacrosse team, including the late game-winners in back-to-back 11-10 victories over Puget Sound and Pacific (Ore.).

This week in Sagehen athletics saw plenty of excitement, led by the Women’s Lacrosse team, which won four games in five days by a combined six goals, each one more dramatic than the one before. Lacrosse didn’t have a monopoly on drama, though, as the Softball team stretched its winning streak to eight games with yet another win in its final at-bat, the Women’s Tennis team defeated Bowdoin 5-4 thanks to an epic tiebreaker victory in the final singles match of the day, and the Men’s and Women’s Track and Field teams ended up with a rare tie in their annual rivalry meet with Occidental.

The most impressive story, though, was the Women’s Lacrosse team, which came into the week with a 1-5 overall record and faced the daunting challenge of playing four games in five days without any available substitutes (due to several injuries). The grueling schedule saw home games on Wednesday (Puget Sound) and Friday (North Central), and then a flight to Tacoma for games on Saturday (Puget Sound) and Sunday (Pacific). Heading into the week, given the difficulties that the team was facing, a split of the four games would have probably been considered a success. 

Instead the Sagehens took all four, as the drama kept getting more intense with each progressive game. Martha Marich ‘12 had 20 goals on the week, including the game-winners late on Saturday and Sunday, both of which were 11-10 victories. She started out the week with seven goals in a 19-16 home win over Puget Sound, then broke a 10-10 tie in the rematch with Puget Sound on Saturday for the game-winning goal. In the final game of the week on Sunday, the most dramatic win of them all, she scored with only 2.3 seconds left to break another 10-10 tie in an 11-10 win over Pacific (Ore.), scoring off a feed from Clara Engle ’15 in traffic. That goal completed a comeback from 10-8 down with under three minutes to play, just when the team should have been most fatigued from its four-games-in-five-days grind.

On Friday, goalie Casey Leek PI ’14 was the hero as she saved a point blank shot against North Central with 45 seconds left to preserve a 14-13 Sagehen victory, while Jana London PI ’14 led the way with four goals. The team will now get some much needed rest as it has 10 days off before its next game against MIT on Wednesday, March 28. 

It is tough to top a goal with 2.3 seconds left for drama, but Arthi Padmanabhan ’14 might have done it in helping the Women’s Tennis team defeat Bowdoin 5-4 on Monday. After the Sagehens swept doubles 3-0, Bowdoin rallied to tie the overall match 4-4, leaving Padmanabhan’s three-setter at No. 3 singles as the decisive point. The third set ended up tied 6-6 and went to a tiebreaker, when Padmanabhan had to fight off five match points to prevent the Polar Bears from earning the win. Finally, Padmanabhan was able to earn a 13-11 tiebreaker victory when she ripped a forehand winner into the left corner. Sammy Chao ’14 picked up the other singles win for Pomona-Pitzer and remains unbeaten in singles and doubles (with Padmanabhan) so far this year. 

Men’s Tennis also had some tiebreaker drama of its own, as Chris Wiechert PI ’14 avenged his only Division III loss of the year, defeating Michael Razumovsky of ninth-ranked Kenyon 7-6 in the third set after winning the tiebreaker 7-4. Wiechert, who plays at No. 2 singles for the Sagehens, has now won 10 matches in a row since falling to Razumovsky at the ITA Indoor Nationals on Feb. 24, with eight of those 10 wins coming against nationally ranked opponents. 

Softball kept its recent penchant for dramatic victories going with yet another comeback win against Puget Sound on Thursday. The first game of the doubleheader was relatively easy, as Pomona-Pitzer won 9-4 behind a 4-4 performance from Emily Glass ’15, and 3-for-4 performances from Leah Bleichner ’15 and Ashley Morello PI ’15. The nightcap was a little tougher, as Puget Sound spoiled a shutout bid from Fiona Riley ’15 with a run in the sixth inning to tie the score 1-1. The game went to extra innings, and the international tiebreaker rule was put into play (with a runner placed on second to start each inning). The Loggers scored twice in the top of the eighth to put the Sagehens up against the wall, but once again, the team responded as Bri Marcantoni PI ’12 drove the first pitch over the wall to tie the score up 3-3. After a Caitlyn Hynes ’14 single and a Glass double, Kathryn Rabak ’13 had her second walk-off hit in a week as she drove home Hynes with a single. 

Pomona-Pitzer has now won eight games in a row, with five coming in its last at-bat (four walk-off wins at home and an eight-inning win at Whittier). Rabak defeated Staten Island last week 7-6 with a three-run homer in the seventh, while the team’s run started with two comeback wins over La Verne (6-5 and 10-9).  The Sagehens will try to keep it going this week with a home game against Virginia Wesleyan on Thursday and a home doubleheader with Cal Lutheran on Saturday.

Baseball also had its share of drama with Puget Sound on Sunday, as the two teams traded walk-off wins. Pomona-Pitzer won the nightcap thanks to a 4-for-4, four-RBI performance from James Campbell ’12, who helped the Sagehens come back from an 8-3 deficit. His two-run homer in the fourth brought Pomona-Pitzer within 8-6, and his RBI single in the sixth helped tie it 8-8. In the bottom of the seventh (both games were scheduled for seven innings), E.J. Lopez PI ’15 beat out an infield single and came home on a sac fly from Erik Munzer PI ’13. In the first game, Jake Bruml ’15 was two outs away from a storybook contest as he had a shutout going in the circle and had driven in the only run for the Sagehens, but Puget Sound spoiled it with a solo homer and then won the game 2-1 in extra innings. Baseball will be back in action for a non-league series with Chapman, including a home game on Friday at 3 p.m.

Men’s and Women’s Track and Field completed their annual “Battle For The Banner” with Occidental and came away with a tie, as the women won by three points and the Occidental men won by three points. Pomona-Pitzer will keep the banner (the symbol of the dual victory) for the first six months of the coming year and then return it to Occidental until next year’s dual. Anders Crabo ’12 set the fastest time in the 3000-meter steeplechase in NCAA Division III so far this year (9:07.51), while Alex Johann ’14 ran the 10000 meters in 32:04.39, which ranks third in Division III this year and places him ninth in Pomona-Pitzer history. On the women’s side, Leslie Canter PI ’12 moved into second in Pomona-Pitzer history in the steeplechase (12:00.48), just four seconds off the school record.  

Max Scholten ’12 will compete in the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving Championships in Indianapolis as he will try to earn All-America honors for the second year in a row. Scholten will compete in the 100-yard backstroke, the 200-yard backstroke, and the 50-yard freestyle this week. You can follow all the action from the championships at the NCAA’s website: http://www.ncaa.com/sports/swimming-men/d3.

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