The University of Redlands softball team battled it out with No. 14 Pomona-Pitzer Colleges in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) doubleheader on Saturday at the Field of Dreams. After falling to the Sagehens, 5-13, in the opener, the Bulldogs put together an impressive comeback that came up short in the nine-inning, 5-6 loss.
During the second contest, Pomona-Pitzer jumped on the board with a four-run showing in the top of the first inning. However, Redlands pushed one across in the bottom of the frame when first-year third baseman Jessica Torosian (Thousand Oaks, CA) blasted a two-out double to right center that sent first-year first baseman Tyesen Gordon (Lathrop, CA) home.
Over the next three innings, neither team scored, with Redlands' junior pitcher Nicole Stanzione (San Marcos, CA) taking care of business from the circle. Her defense provided great support, as highlighted by a 1-6-3 double-play in the top of the second.
After the Bulldogs scored one on a single, stolen base, and a back-to-back errors in the fifth, they put up a three-spot in the bottom of the sixth to take the lead at 5-4. Redlands benefitted from two free passes and a pitching change, which allowed first-year right fielder Kayla Rivas (Whittier, CA) to move the runners on a perfectly-placed bunt. First-year outfielder Hayley DiMase (Eastvale, CA) answered the call with a bases-clearing triple to the center-field fence. She touched home on the subsequent infield groundout to put Redlands up for the first time all day.
Unfortunately for the Maroon and Gray, the Sagehens responded with a run in the top of the seventh to force extra innings. Nonetheless, the Bulldogs limited the damage by orchestrating a sweet double-play on a comebacker to Stanzione and an out at first on the subsequent batter.
With runners on first and third in the top of the eighth, the Maroon and Gray looked to K. Rivas to provide a highlight-reel catch over her shoulder and into the sun to escape the inning.
However, the ninth inning saw Pomona-Pitzer secure the game-winning run off a triple and a groundout.
Although Redlands gained a lead-off triple from Stanzione in the final frame, the Sagehens retired the next three batters to hand the home team a tough loss.
Overall, senior second baseman Julianne Rodriguez (Thousand Oaks, CA) and DiMase each recorded two hits for Redlands.
During the opener, the Bulldogs faced an uphill battle to overcome a six-run hole through three innings. Redlands scored four over the fourth and fifth stanzas to make things interesting. With two outs and two runners on, DiMase singled down the right-field line for two RBI in the fourth. Again with two outs and two on, Gordon knocked a single that turned into two runs off a costly Sagehen error in the fifth.
In the bottom of the seventh, sophomore centerfielder Sam Rivas (Whittier, CA) provided Redlands' final score off of her second dinger of the campaign. She finished the game with a 2-for-3 showing with two runs and one RBI.
Redlands (5-9, 2-6 SCIAC) hosts Alfred University (NY) on Monday, March 11, at 12 noon in a non-conference doubleheader at the Field of Dreams.