CMS Softball Tops SCIAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll

CMS Softball Tops SCIAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll

The defending tournament champion Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas have been selected first in the 2016 Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) softball preseason coaches’ poll. The Athenas received six of a possible eight first-place votes, and 62 points total, to edge runner-up La Verne by eight points.

“We are honored to be recognized by our fellow peers,” said CMS head coach Betsy Hipple. “The SCIAC is a top three conference in Division III softball, with eight impressive programs. Over my 12 years at CMS, every team has grown stronger and we are excited for a very competitive 2017 season. It’s a fantastic environment for all of our student-athletes.”

The Leopards garnered the other two-first place voted and racked up 54 points, while Whittier finished third in the poll with 48. Redlands occupies the fourth spot with 38, with Pomona-Pitzer at fifth with 26 points, one point ahead of Chapman in sixth with 25.  Cal Lutheran (21) and Occidental (11) rounded out the poll in seventh and eighth respectively.

The Athenas posted a 37-10-1 record overall last spring and finished second in the regular season standings with a 24-4 SCIAC mark. As the No. 2 seed in the SCIAC post-season tournament, CMS defeated Redlands 9-1, and La Verne twice (10-1, 4-2) to earn the SCIAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The Athenas had impressive showing at the super regional hosted by Whitworth after dropping the first game 5-2 to George Fox. CMS bounced back with wins over Whitworth (3-0) George Fox (3-1) and Linfield (3-0) before falling in eight innings to Linfield 6-5 in the “if necessary” game.

After capturing the 2016 regular season SCIAC Championship La Verne will again look to contend for the conference title with the return of a pair of All-SCIAC first teamers in Alexis Schiff and Sienna Kendricks.  CMS will lean on the 2016 SCIAC Pitcher of the Year and Preseason All-American Anna Gurr who boasted a 1.36 ERA, while holding opposing hitters to a .216 average last season. She accounted for 23 of the team’s 37 wins, including 11 shutouts.

Saturday, February 11, marks the dawn of SCIAC competition in 2017 when Redlands host Claremont-Mudd-Scripps for a doubleheader. The other 6 SCIAC squads will open conference play on Saturday February 18. The four-team double-elimination conference post-season tournament will be at the site of the highest seed May 5-7. 

 

Institution

Points (first-place votes)

1. Claremont-Mudd-Scripps

62 (6)

2. La Verne

54 (2)

3. Whittier

48

4. Redlands

38

5. Pomona-Pitzer

26

6. Chapman

25

7. Cal Lutheran

21

8. Occidental

11