The contrast between Ila Borders’ first collegiate pitching appearance and the most recent couldn’t be greater.
Three years ago she was making history, starting Southern California College’s home opener, pitching a five-hitter in a 12-1 victory over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and becoming the first woman to win a college baseball game. A crowd of 300 cheered her on; Sports Illustrated and ESPN took notice.
Wednesday, she pitched two innings of relief for Whittier College in a 12-4 loss to Concordia. Her uncle, Ray Carter, was on hand to watch her in Irvine, but few others.
Borders, however, isn’t concerned. She maintains her dream of playing pro baseball and believes her transfer to Whittier for her final collegiate season will help her to realize it.
At SCC, she had become an occasional reliever--she pitched only 24 1/3 innings last season. At Whittier, she is one of three main starters and the only left-hander on a staff of seven.
Wednesday, Borders said she doesn’t have any ill feelings toward her former team but made it clear where she would rather play. “I don’t want to say anything derogatory because they helped me out, but I’ve never had as much support as I have at Whittier.”
Borders, who started Whittier’s opener against powerful Azusa Pacific last week, giving up five runs and five hits in four-plus innings of a 17-0 loss, pitched the sixth and seventh innings Wednesday. By that time, the Poets trailed, 8-3.
She retired the side in the sixth but had trouble in the seventh.