Ticket Punched: Hynes Seventh-Inning Double Gives Softball Postseason Bid

La Verne, Calif. - Sophomore Caitlyn Hynes (Upland, Calif.) was 4-for-4 at the plate, including a two-out, two-run double in the top of the seventh to cap off a three-run rally and give Pomona-Pitzer a 3-2 win over La Verne in the second game of a doubleheader on Sunday after La Verne won the first game 5-3.

The victory in the nightcap clinches a SCIAC Tournament berth for the Sagehens, who improve to 19-16 overall and 12-8 in the SCIAC with the split. La Verne falls to 18-17 overall and 9-13 in the SCIAC, and cannot catch Pomona-Pitzer, although it still has a chance to pull even with fourth-place Whittier (11-11).

The Sagehens came into this weekend needing just one win out of its four games against Whittier and La Verne to clinch its postseason bid and came within one out of having to wait until next weekend to try again. On Saturday, Pomona-Pitzer lost at home in extra innings twice to Whittier (9-8 in nine innings and 5-4 in 10 innings) and was one out away from its needed win in the opener before Whittier tied it with a two-out, two-run single.

Hynes helped the weekend come full circle as she stepped the plate with the bases loaded and two outs and the Sagehens trailing 2-1 and came through with the clutch hit to put her team in front. Freshman pitcher Fiona Riley (Berkleley, Calif.), who threw over 200 pitches in Saturday's doubleheader, then put the finishing touches on a complete-game five-hitter by retiring the side in order in the bottom half to secure the win.

The top of the seventh began with freshman third baseman Jessica Liu (Alamo, Calif.) hitting a single to center field. Freshman left fielder Ashley Morello (Santa Cruz, Calif.) followed with a bunt to move Liu to second, and senior shortstop Ari Roach (Pinole, Calif.) had a single to left to put runners on the corners and bring the go-ahead run to the plate.

Freshman center fielder Leah Bleichner (Simi Valley, Calif.) came through with an RBI single to right field to bring home the first run, and one out later, freshman catcher Emily Glass (Davis, Calif.) had an infield single to load the bases and bring Hynes to the plate for the winning double.

In the opening game, sophomore left fielder Shannon Julius (Coronado, Calif.) had a two-run single in a three-run first inning to stake the Sagehens to a 3-0 lead, but they left 10 runners on base as La Verne was able to chip away and come back for the 5-3 win. Tara Allis broke the tie with a two-run homer in the fifth for the Leopards.

Morello was 3-for-4 in the opening game for the Sagehens, while Julius was 2-for-3 with two RBI and Glass was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Pomona-Pitzer had its best chance to tie in the sixth when it had runners on second and third and nobody out, but a lineout to third base off the bat of Roach helped keep the Sagehens off the board.

Pomona-Pitzer will close out the regular season with a home doubleheader against CMS on Friday at 2 p.m. and a road doubleheader at Cal Lutheran on Saturday at noon. The Sagehens will now be playing for seeding as it needs to split its final four games to secure the third seed and avoid first place Redlands in the first round of the SCIAC Tournament.