ORANGE, Calif. – Senior Amber Perez was red-hot at the plate as the Chapman University softball team split a SCIAC doubleheader with Occidental, winning 4-3 and falling 8-4. Perez was a combined 6-for-7 in the doubleheader with a pair of RBIs and three runs scored.
Game 1 – W, 4-3
Senior Amber Perez went 3-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored to lead the Panthers offensively in the 4-3 win to start the day. Sophomore Samantha Whalen tossed her eighth complete game of the season to seal the crucial victory for the Panthers.
Whalen was nearly perfect through the first three innings but ran into trouble in the fourth. The Panthers had given Whalen a three-run lead in the third. Freshman Michaela Foisy sprinted home from on fellow freshman Vanessa Gilles' ground out. Perez then knocked in freshman Samantha Tong with an infield single and junior Kristen Weiser capped the rally with a screaming RBI-single to left.
In the fourth, Occidental finally got the bats going with four consecutive hits that brought in a pair of runs. The Tigers had the bases loaded, threatening to take the lead. Whalen induced a tapper back to the circle and was able to make the glove flip to home for the force. Junior Rhiannon Geving made a sliding, back-handed stop on the next play and promptly flipped the ball to second to end the inning.
Whalen went back to dominating in the fifth and sixth while Chapman added a run in the bottom of the fifth on sophomore Elizabeth Runge's sacrifice fly. The run proved to be crucial as Oxy rallied in the seventh.
A run came home with two outs as the Tigers smacked three hits in the inning. Mackenzie Priley's single with two outs brought in the run while she moved up to second on the throw home. With the tying run now on third and Priley representing the go-ahead run, Whalen again got a ground ball to end the threat and seal the win.
Game 2 – L, 8-4
Perez stayed hot at the plate, going 3-for-4 at the plate with a double and two singles but the Occidental bats caught fire to avoid the doubleheader sweep.
The Panthers got on the board first with Runge's RBI-single in the second. Runge ended the game 2-for-3 with two RBIs after she added another sacrifice fly in the seventh.
The Tigers caught fire in the third, sending seven to the plate and plating two to take the lead. The damage could have been much worse but Runge caught a runner trying to tag up at the plate from right field to end the inning.
The Tigers went right back to work in the fourth inning, scoring four more run to take a commanding 6-1 lead. Chapman scratched out a run in the fifth when Weiser drew a bases loaded walk but Oxy responded with a pair of runs in the sixth.
Kira Elliott led the Tigers at the plate, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs and three runs scored. Alexis Funaki went the distance for the complete game win.
The Panthers are back at El Camino Real Park on Friday for another crucial SCIAC doubleheader with Whittier as both teams fight for a spot in the top-4 of the conference.
by Steven Olveda
Sports Information Director