ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University softball team returned to action after two weeks without games and dropped both ends of its SCIAC-opening doubleheader with visiting Whittier College, 4-1 and 5-3 at El Camino Real Park on Saturday afternoon. The Panthers managed just four hits in an extra-inning loss to the Poets in Game 1 and then fell behind early in Game 2 and never recovered.
Game 1: Whittier 4, Chapman 1
Another outstanding start by sophomore Natalie Both went unrewarded as the right-hander struck out 13 batters before succumbing to the Poets in extra innings. Both struck out the side in each of the first two innings and surrendered just two hits and an unearned run over seven innings, but the game was tied at 1-1 forcing extra play. In the top of the eighth, Whittier (4-0 overall, 2-0 SCIAC) finally broke through with three doubles off the sophomore leading to three runs and pinning Both with her second loss of the young season.
Chapman (1-3 overall, 0-2 SCIAC) was held to just four hits of its own in eight innings against Whittier RHP Courtney DeLano. The Panthers scored their only run in the second inning on an RBI single up the middle by junior OF Karina Muniz, plating freshman IF Amber Perez who had doubled to lead off the inning.
Game 2: Whittier 5, Chapman 3
The Poets jumped out to an early lead against Chapman, doing all their scoring in the first four innings. And although the Panthers out-hit Whittier in the second game 10-8, five of the Poets' eight hits went for extra bases (two doubles, three triples) and chased Chapman junior RHP Cassie Oregel from the game after just 2.1 innings.
Whittier junior C Samantha Mellano doubled in a run and scored on a single by Mickala Gonzales in the third inning to put the Poets up 4-1.
Trailing 5-1 in the fourth, Chapman rallied for a pair of runs after Both led off the inning with a triple and scored on a single by sophomore C Lisa Perez. Three batters later, junior IF Lindsay Holt doubled to drive in Perez to make it 5-3. The Panthers loaded the bases in the fifth, including singles from Both and Perez, but failed to score off Poets' reliever Anna Cade who retired the final seven batters in order to notch the win.
Chapman won't have much time to mull over the sweep as it returns to the diamond on Sunday to host Occidental College in another SCIAC doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for noon at El Camino Real Park.
by Doug Aiken
Sports Information Director