Author: Ryan Whalen
Occidental Softball (2-28 overall, 1-19 SCIAC)
The Occidental College softball team attempted to break through a recent offensive slump during its doubleheader against Whittier on Saturday. But it was the Poets who were able to invoke their bats in the morning cap, as they rattled off five runs in the first inning and collected another seven over the final two innings before shutting out the Tigers 12-0 via mercy rule through just five innings of play. The black and orange was only able to manage three hits throughout the game and failed to move a runner past second base. Senior outfielder Jackie Shimamoto led the squad at the plate, collecting a hit and drawing a walk. In Game 2, Occidental remained within striking distance, only yielding runs in the first and second innings. But Morgan Giusti (sophomore) and Megan Luera (senior) were the only Tigers to have any success at the plate, combining for the only two Occidental hits of the contest. Giusti also scored the only run for the black and orange, crossing home plate safely due to a Whittier error. Her lone run was not enough to overcome the Poets’ early offensive barrage, and Whittier completed the sweep with a 4-1 victory. The Tigers attempt to break their 12-game losing streak on Saturday, hosting Cal Lutheran in a doubleheader at noon and 2 p.m.
Men’s Tennis (3-13 overall, 1-4 SCIAC)
The Occidental College men’s tennis team found its stroke on the court last weekend, avenging its early season loss to Caltech with a 6-3 victory. Junior ace Josh Dancu led the black and orange with a straight-set win in No. 1 singles and teamed up with partner Eric Kazangian (junior) for a victory in No. 1 doubles. But the Tigers’ success did not carry over into their Saturday match-up against Chapman, as Occidental found itself on the opposite end of a 6-3 deficit. First-year Avery Chernin notched a victory in No. 5 singles, while Jeremy Kirchoff (junior) won his No. 6 singles match. The Tigers travel to CMS and Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., respectively.
Women’s Tennis (1-11 overall, 0-6 SCIAC)
The Occidental College women’s tennis team continued to struggle in its conference matches last weekend, losing to both Caltech and Chapman. For the fourth consecutive time, the Tigers were unable to capture a single match during Friday and Saturday’s competitions, dropping both contests 9-0. Occidental ace Keilani Ericksen pushed Caltech’s Rebekah Kitto (senior) to a third-set tiebreaker in No. 1 singles. The Tigers look to snap their nine-match losing streak this Saturday, traveling to CMS at 10 a.m.
Baseball wins series against SCIAC-rival Redlands
The Occidental College baseball team (14-15 overall, 10-8 SCIAC) drew closer to playing .500 ball last weekend after taking two of three games in a home-and-away series with Redlands. The Tigers opened the match-up on the road, losing 6-5 in their second straight extra-inning contest. But the black and orange rebounded the following day by scoring a combined 18 runs over the course of the Saturday doubleheader. Thirteen of their runs came in a shortened seven-inning morning cap via mercy rule. Senior infielder Van Fudge led the offensive charge for the Tigers, tallying four RBI on three hits. Fellow upperclassman Johnathan Brooks (junior) was right behind Fudge with three RBI on three hits, including a solo home run during the first game of the doubleheader. In the second game of the afternoon, it was the black and orange’s defense that proved most potent, as pitcher Nolan Watson (first-year) threw a complete-game shutout. During Watson’s 100-pitch performance, he allowed just three hits while fanning eight Bulldogs. Playoff implications are on the line this weekend, as the SCIAC No.4 Tigers host No. 5 La Verne — whom they trail by just one-half game in the conference standings — on Friday at 3 p.m. Occidental then plays the Leopards on the road on Saturday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Albino runner-up (Women’s Water Polo center No. 6)
Senior center Lindsay Albino has been one of the offensive and defensive cornerstones for the Occidental women’s water polo program over the last four seasons. The All-SCIAC selection saw significant time from the get-go, scoring 10 goals, snagging 11 steals and dishing out five assists in 28 games as a first-year. But the Greenwich, Conn., native was far from done after her first season. She improved upon her own numbers by almost tripling them in her sophomore year, collecting 29 goals, 31 steals and 20 assists. At the end of her junior campaign, Albino received a Second Team All-SCIAC selection and Honorable Mention All-American recognition for her efforts. While the squad (3-13 overall, 1-3 SCIAC) has struggled against Division-I competition thus far in her senior season, Albino has again found herself at the forefront of the black and orange’s attack, continually posting multi-goal performances. She has also come through in close games, tallying a combined five goals, seven steals and two assists during the unit’s three wins on the campaign. Outside of the pool, Albino will graduate this spring with a degree in kinesiology. The team will also have a difficult time filling the shoes of its six other seniors — Sofie Munoz, Geneva Perez, April DesCombes, Kelsey Shyba, Morgan McClafferty and Katya Soot — whose collegiate careers will come to a close at the end of the month. Albino and company look to capture their fourth victory this evening, traveling to Chapman at 5 p.m.
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