by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
CLAREMONT, Calif. – Whitworth scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning to earn a split with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on opening day.
Morgan Portlock went 2-3 with 4 RBIs to lead the Pirates (1-1) in game two. Chloe Amarilla tossed seven strong innings for the Athlenas (1-1) in the opener.
Game 1: CMS 7, Whitworth 2
The Athena offense dominated the middle innings to give CMS a win in game one.
Whitworth took an early lead thanks to aggressive baserunning. Kaylie Lowery walked before stealing second and third setting the table for Sara Gayer, who bounced a single through the right side of the infield to sore Lowery. Kinsey McNaught, who reached base on a fielder's choice scored Whitworth's second run on a groundout by Rheanne Lewis.
After only getting two baserunners in the first three innings, Claremont took a lead they wouldn't relinquish in the fourth. The Athena's worked two walks to begin the frame and scored their first run of the season on a groundout. Rachel Perley followed with a double that tied the game at two. Amarilla gave the Athenas the lead with a bases loaded walk, and Molly Spaniac closed the inning with a two-run double.
CMS tacked on two more runs in the fifth inning, including a solo home run from Maddie Valdez.
Amarilla didn't need the insurance in the circle. The returning All-American held Whitworth scoreless after the first inning, only allowing two runs on three hits in a complete game effort.
Game 2: Whitworth 7, CMS 3 (9 innings)
Lewis worked a bases loaded walk in the ninth inning and Portlock followed with a bases-clearing double to give Whitworth a win in the second game of the doubleheader.
The Pirates trailed for much of the game after CMS took a 3-0 lead in the first inning, but the Bucs chipped away and knotted the game in the top of the seventh inning.
All three of the Athenas' runs came on Megan Perron's double in the first inning. Amarilla opened the inning with a double before the Pirates allowed two more batters to reach base on errors. Perron took advantage with a bases-clearing double to right-center field
Whitworth began chipping away in the second inning when Carlson drove in Gayer with a fielder's choice. The Bucs' added another run two frames later when Portlock tripled and scored on a wild pitch.
The Pirates had an opportunity to tie the game in the fifth inning after getting runners on second and third with just one out, but a pop-out and foul-out resulted in a scoreless inning
After their own mistakes left the Bucs trailing at the end of the fifth, they took advantage of two Athena errors to send the game to extra innings. Kaylie Lowery reached on an error to open the inning and two walks loaded the bases for Portlock. The senior worked the inning's third walk to knot the game at three.
Drea Schwaier-Wolf was excellent in her Whitworth debut The freshman allowed just three unearned runs in a complete game effort, striking out two batters along the way.
Lauren Richards allowed three runs in 62/3 innings for CMS. Amarilla was hit with the loss after throwing the final 21/3 innings
Looking Ahead: The Pirates are back in action on Saturday, February 9 as they continue their California road trip at La Verne.