Author: Ryan Whalen
Baseball (12-14 overall, 8-7 SCIAC)
The Occidental baseball team took the field against SCIAC No. 1 Whittier over the weekend in a three-game conference series. Junior outfielder Chris Strain kicked off the league rivalry with a bang for the Tigers in Friday’s Game 1 with a 2-run home run in the second inning that gave the black and orange a 2-0 lead. Junior Johnathan Brooks and Riley Smith (senior) combined for an additional three RBI. But the Poets overcame the Tigers’ offensive output with a six-run fifth inning that led to a 7-5 victory for the Poets. Despite the tough loss, the Occidental squad was able to bounce back and snag a sound 8-1 victory over Whittier in Game 2, the first frame of a Saturday doubleheader at Anderson Field. Senior pitcher Mitch Margolis stole the show, allowing just one run through eight innings of work while adding to his SCIAC-leading strikeout tally by mowing down nine Poet batters. The rubber match then lasted 13 innings, as Smith tied the contest with a 2-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game at eight runs apiece and again dealt an equalizing blow with a solo shot in the 12th to even the score at nine. But the Tiger shortstop’s late-game heroics were not enough for the black and orange, as Whittier was able to put up three runs in the 13th inning to best the Tigers, 12-10. Occidental travels to Redlands on Friday at 3 p.m.
Men’s Tennis (2-12 overall, 0-3 SCIAC)
The Occidental men’s tennis team found itself down an ace against Pacific (Ore.) on Thursday, with No. 1 singles and doubles player Josh Dancu (junior) out due to an injury. Veteran Kevin Siebs (senior) more than filled Dancu’s shoes, posting a collegiate-best victory in the No. 1 singles spot. Fellow upperclassmen David Cotton (senior) and Jeremy Kirchoff (junior) also scored for the Tigers in the match individually. While the black and orange was able to split its singles matches, the Boxers swept Occidental in doubles play en route to a 6-3 victory. The Tigers host Caltech on Friday at 2 p.m.
Women’s Tennis (1-9 overall, 0-4 SCIAC)
The Occidental women’s tennis team lost all three of its matches last week. The Tigers lost their closest match of the season 5-4 against non-conference foe Pacific (Ore.) last Wednesday. First-year Isabella Korfmann and Lucy Malloch (sophomore) led the black and orange in the match. Korfmann coupled her No. 5 singles victory with a win in No. 3 doubles with partner Jesse Hernandez (senior). Malloch’s win marked her first success while playing in Occidental’s No. 4 singles slot. Junior Amber Gasden won her second straight match to round out the scoring for the Tigers. However, Occidental’s competitiveness did not carry over into its next two matches against Cal Lutheran and Pomona-Pitzer on Friday and Saturday, respectively, as the Tigers were downed in a pair of 9-0 losses. The unit will attempt to snap its seven-match losing streak at Caltech on Friday at 2 p.m.
Softball (4-26 overall, 1-17 SCIAC)
The Occidental softball team saw limited action over the weekend, playing just one doubleheader against La Verne on Saturday. The Tigers struggled in Game 1, mustering just two hits and again falling victim to the mercy rule after allowing eight runs in an abbreviated five innings of play. After the rough outing, the black and orange made a defensive stand in Game 2. First-year starting pitcher Emily Pham allowed just two runs and struck out two in a six-inning stint in the circle. Despite trailing by the two runs through the first four innings, Occidental was able to manufacture a run in the fifth on an Alex Battest (first-year) RBI-single, and the unit tied the game in the seventh on a Jerika Barron (senior) double that eventually sent the contest to extra innings. But the Tigers came up short in the final inning, as La Verne sealed the 3-2 win with a walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth. Occidental hosts a doubleheader on Saturday against Whittier at noon and 2 p.m.
Women’s Lacrosse (8-2 overall, 5-0 SCIAC)
The Occidental women’s lacrosse team (8-2 overall, 5-0 SCIAC) split a pair of non-conference games against Pacific (Ore.) and Colorado College last week. The Tigers opened up the stint with a dominant performance against Pacific, handing the the Boxers a 14-4 loss with an all-around team performance. All-SCIAC attacker Beebe Finch Sanders (junior) led the black and orange’s offensive charge with four goals, while goalie Kirsten Hee (sophomore) anchored the Tiger defense with a nine-save complete game. Additionally, attacker Mary Richardson (sophomore) played the role of distributor by dishing out four assists in the contest. The Tigers then turned their attention to their Sunday match-up against Colorado College. Sophomore Mackenzie Wright acted as the field general for the black and orange, tallying four assists while giving up just one turnover. Sanders was again the top goal scorer for her team, as she found the back of the net on three separate occasions. Senior midfielder Rebecca Belding displayed her offensive prowess as well, scoring two goals and assisting on two more. But the Tigers’ distribution was not enough, as the black and orange dropped the gritty match by a score of 10-9. Occidental begins its second round of SCIAC play on Saturday, traveling to Redlands at 7 p.m.
Kevin Liu (Men’s Golf)
The Occidental men’s golf team is coming off its best performance of the year at the West Cup at Bear Creek Country Club in Murrieta, Calif., on March 23-25. The Tigers tallied a season-low score of 312 after round one. Rounds two and three brought about more strong performances from the squad, as they finished with scores of 333 and 324, respectively, en route to an overall 12th-place finish in a competitive field of several national top-25 teams. Throughout the weekend, Kevin Liu (sophomore) produced a solid and consistent line. In the first round, Liu shot a season-low 7-over 79. He then notched a 17-over 89 in round two and a 15-over 87 in round three on his way to finishing fourth for the Tigers and 81st overall. Earlier in the season, Liu contributed to the Tigers’ fifth-place result at the SCIAC Preview, shooting a 14-over 86. The Mercer Island, Wash., native was an Honorable Mention All-King County selection in high school and served as his team’s captain as a senior. After a successful season as a first-year in 2013, Liu has stepped up into a larger role for the team, consistently posting top-five finishes and contributing to the squad’s scoring. He will play an important role for the Tigers on April 5 and 6 when they head to Empire Lakes Country Club in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., for SCIAC #2.
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