ORANGE, Calif. – Two of the top hitting teams in the conference ended up playing a pair of pitcher's duels as the Chapman University softball team split with La Verne on Saturday. The Panthers (11-9, 7-5 SCIAC) took the first game 4-2 but fell 4-1 in the second game to the SCIAC leaders.
Game 1 – W, 4-2
Chapman put up four runs early and that was all freshman Sarah Hartmann and sophomore Samantha Whalen needed to in support as they shut down the highest scoring offense in the SCIAC. The two Panther pitchers combined to allow just five hits and two runs (one earned) in the win.
Freshman Michaela Foisy led off the first with the Panthers' only hit of the inning but a patient Panther approach drew three walks to help bring in a pair of runs. With runners on the corners, freshman Vanessa Gilles laid down the squeeze bunt to score Foise and give the Panthers a 1-0 lead. Freshman Samantha Tong drew a walk to load the bases and junior Sarah Taketa drew the two-out walk that forced in the second run.
After a 1-2-3 first, Hartmann produced three pop ups in the second to keep the Panthers out in front. In the bottom half, sophomore Sydney Engelhardt scored on freshman Sarah Sumida's triple to make it 3-0. Freshman Kyra Gallego hit a sacrifice fly for the early 4-0 lead.
La Verne turned its first hit in the third inning to a manufactured run but cut into the Panther lead. An error helped the next run come in on a sacrifice fly in the fourth.
Hartmann allowed just the two runs on three hits and did not walk a batter through five innings in the circle. Whalen took over in the sixth and pitched out of an error-caused jam to keep her team out in front. She overcame another error in the seventh to keep La Verne off the board and earn her first save.
Game 2 - L, 4-1
Chapman jumped on top fist again but couldn't hold off the Leopards for the sweep. Sophomore Emily Claudy and Hayley Jaque were stingy in the circle over the first three innings as Claudy allowed just one hit with a couple walks and Jaque did not allow a hit with two walks.
Sumida led off Panthers' fourth with a double, moved up on a bunt and scored freshman Samantha Tong's single. La Verne answered with three doubles in the fifth to plate two runs and take the lead for the first time of the day.
The Leopards added two more in the sixth and left a runner on third in the seventh as Jacque continued to be dominant in the circle. Chapman had just three hits in the second game and put only one runner in scoring position after the fourth inning.
Whalen replaced Tong in the fifth with no outs and a runner on but took the loss. Claudy allowed only one run on two hits over four innings.
The Panthers are back at El Camino Real Park on Monday to take on Williams College in their final nonconference doubleheader of the season.
by Steven Olveda
Sports Information Director