Pomona-Pitzer Edges Past Bearcats 1-0 in Pitcher's Duel

Danielle Saunders (So., OF, Salem, OR/McNary HS)
Danielle Saunders (So., OF, Salem, OR/McNary HS)

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director

CLAREMONT, Calif. -- Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.) scored the game's only run in the bottom of the second inning and held off Willamette University the rest of the way for a 1-0 win in a softball pitcher's duel on Tuesday, March 22 at Wig Beach Field.

Willamette pitcher Jade Smith (Jr., RHP, Chico, CA/Chico HS) and Pomona-Pitzer's Liz Rodarte provided the battle, as they combined to allow only five hits and seven base runners.

Smith allowed the game's only run, but gave up just three hits and no walks overall. The Bearcats managed just two hits off Rodarte -- singles by Danielle Saunders (So., LF, Salem, OR/McNary HS) and Victoria Bradshaw (Sr., OF, Discovery Bay, CA/Liberty HS). Rodarte also walked one batter and hit one batter. She struck out seven Bearcats.

The Sagehens moved their record to 3-14 on the season. Willamette, playing its fifth game in three days, concluded its Spring Break road trip with a 4-1 record, while falling to 9-2 overall.

WU put the first runner in scoring position in the top of the second inning.

Alex Shields (Jr., C, Lake Forest, CA/El Toro HS) walked, and then went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Bradshaw. Rodarte struck out Elaine Norcia (So., 1B, Santa Ynez, CA/Santa Ynez Valley HS) for the second out. Shields was called out for leaving second base early to end the inning while Steffany Dunn (Jr., SS, Colfax, CA/Colfax HS) was at the plate.

Kelsey Bucha belted a leadoff double in the bottom the second inning for Pomona-Pitzer. Bucha went to third on a groundout to first base by Eimily Rockhi. Susanne Bode singled to right field to drive in Bucha. The next two batters grounded out to end the threat.

Willamette earned its first hit of the game with two outs in the top of the sixth when Saunders recorded an infield single toward shortstop. Kathryn Moore (So., 3B, Reno, NV/Robert McQueen HS), who was hit by a pitch right before Saunders batted, moved to second on the single. Rodarte struck out Ashley Pender (Sr., 2B, Reno, NV/North Valleys HS) to end the inning.

Bradshaw singled through the right side of the infield with one out in the seventh. Rodarte recorded a strikeout and forced a groundout to complete the game.

Bucha, Bode and Page Oliver achieved hits for Pomona-Pitzer. Bucha's double was the game's only extra-base hit.

The Bearcats will play Northwest Conference doubleheaders at Pacific Lutheran University on Friday, March 25 and Saturday, March 26 in Parkland, Washington. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. (PDT) each day.