Softball sweeps 4 from Oxy, Claremont

Leo sophomore Liz Lomeli (#5) is put out at first base by Janella Gatchalian on a throw from pitcher Kelly Huochin (left) in the second game of the doubleheader, which did not hinder the Leos’ victory over the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas Saturday. La Verne won both games, 3-0 and 5-0. / photo by Melissa A. Collett
Leo sophomore Liz Lomeli (#5) is put out at first base by Janella Gatchalian on a throw from pitcher Kelly Huochin (left) in the second game of the doubleheader, which did not hinder the Leos’ victory over the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas Saturday. La Verne won both games, 3-0 and 5-0. / photo by Melissa A. Collett

by Erica Aguilar
Staff Writer

Grasping for two consecutive victories this past weekend, the University of La Verne women’s softball team defeated Occidental and Claremont, making their record 8-2, losing only to Cal Lutheran thus far.

Playing at Occidental last Friday, the Leopards defeated the Tigers 2-0 in the first game and 3-2 in the second.

On Saturday afternoon, the Leopards played their second doubleheader of the weekend in Claremont, defeating the Athenas both games, 3-0 and 5-0.

In the first game, La Verne scored first with two runs in the top of the fourth inning.

Junior shortstop Loree Grey scored the first run, followed by junior right fielder Kelly Perkins after left fielder Jenna Bowman was hit by a pitch.

An RBI in the fifth by junior centerfield Jamey Hesler, brought in sophomore pitcher Sharnae Lancaster to make the score 3-0.

From that point on, the Leos held the Athenas every time they went up to bat. In the bottom of the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, the Leos got the Athenas out in order each time. This made the final score of the first game 3-0.

Beginning the second game, Clare­mont alternated pitchers and held the Leopards for a short time, not allowing them to score in the first two innings.

Batting in the top of the third, junior catcher Carmen Diaz drew a walk. Next, Diaz stole second, while Bowman bunted and got out, but advanced Diaz to third base.

Sophomore first baseman Amber Hall then hit the second out for the Leos, and Diaz stole home, diving over the catcher to score.

“Even though I thought I was going to get out, I had to take a chance, so I dove and scored,” said Diaz.

After the third was over and the score was still 1-0, the Leopards team strategy took a turn for the worse against Claremont.

First, Lancaster drew a walk. Grey’s bunt single moved Lancaster to second base and put herself at first. Perkins then hit a single to left field, causing Lancaster to slide into third base. The bases were loaded and sophomore third baseman Liz Lomeli hit the first out. Hesler hit an RBI, but got out. The score was then 2-0.

Both teams held each other from scoring in the fifth and sixth innings but by the seventh, it was all over for Claremont.

With one out, Bowman was again hit by a pitch and walked. Hall also drew a walk. Freshman second baseman Jennifer Caforio then hit a double and knocked in Bowman, while Hall moved to third base. Lancaster made the second out, but also the second run batted in, while Caforio slid safely into third base. Grey hit a single and batted in Caforio. Perkins attempted to bring Grey in, but made the third out. La Verne had done its damage and gained a 5-0 lead.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Leos made three consecutive outs to finish the game. Lancaster struck out the last player. The final score was 5-0.

“We came back the second game as a team. I thought my pitching was also better because I was throwing a lot more strikes,” said Lancaster.

The first winning game against Claremont was head coach Julie Kline’s 100th win as a fourth year softball coach for La Verne.

“I thought we played more intense the second game and I thought we were a lot better at running the bases,” she said.

Yesterday, the Leos dropped a game to Concordia College, 2-0, moving their overall record to 8-3.

The team will travel to San Diego to play at the University of San Diego this Sunday at 1 p.m.

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