In Sunday's Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) doubleheader, the University of Redlands softball team split results against Whittier College on the Field of Dreams. In a tale of two games, the Bulldogs battled to a 4-3 win in the opener but dropped a 0-9 decision in the second contest.
Both teams protected home plate while not allowing any runs through four innings. Senior second baseman Julianne Rodriguez (Thousand Oaks, CA) and senior shortstop Jordyn Smith (Highland, CA) locked down the middle infield with three consecutive putouts apiece in the third and fourth innings, respectively. Senior catcher Nova Siegel (Fairfield, CA) also made a huge contribution by throwing down the would-be base-stealer for the third out in the top of the fifth frame.
The Bulldogs carried that momentum into their half of the inning, as first-year pinch hitter Aya Smith (Redlands, CA) doubled to the right-center fence to score the first run of the game. She plated first-year right fielder Hayley DiMase (Eastvale, CA), who led off the frame with a double and moved to third on a groundout. First-year Jaeden Ells (Yelm, WA) pinch ran for A. Smith, immediately stole third, and touched home on a fielder's choice to help gain a 2-0 lead for the Maroon and Gray.
The Bulldogs distanced themselves in the sixth on a single from junior left fielder Jaci Sanchez (Lakewood, CA), but the Poets answered with a three-spot in the top of the seventh. Nonetheless, Redlands remained composed and came away with back-to-back doubles, including a walk-off one from J. Smith to seal a 4-3 victory.
Both DiMase and sophomore third baseman Ryanna Curtis (Upland, CA) each batted 2-for-3, while Curtis also posted two RBI. In the circle, junior pitcher Nicole Stanzione (San Marcos, CA) registered three strikeouts in her complete-game victory.
In game two, Rodriguez led off with a single and used her speed to make it to second on an errant throw from the Poets. She made her way to third on a sacrifice bunt, but the inning ended before she could touch home plate.
Whittier worked to build a 9-0 lead through four innings, which proved to be too much for the Bulldogs to overcome.
Rodriguez was the only multi-hit batter for the Maroon and Gray, as she went 2-for-2.
Redlands (9-13, 4-7 SCIAC) enjoys a nine-day break before returning to action on Tuesday, March 26, against Willamette University (OR). The doubleheader's first pitch is set for 12 noon.