by Landus Rigsby
After a weekend of splitting doubleheaders with the Whittier Poets and the Redlands Bulldogs, the 1997 University of La Verne softball team opens up the season at 2-2.
On Saturday at Whittier, the Leopards, playing with nine new players and five returners, split a doubleheader with the Poets. In the first game, La Verne opened up an offensive flurry, led by junior second baseman Lateka Clayton, who went 3-for-5 with a triple and three RBI.
Senior Loree Grey added to the domination of the Poets by hitting a double and a triple, recording four RBI. Senior outfielder Kelly Perkins also contributed to the La Verne offensive attack with a double. ULV pulled out a 10-3 win, with freshman pitcher Teresa DaValle winning her first game of the season.
Whittier came back in game two of the doubleheader, scoring a 3-2 victory for the Leopards. Sophomore infielder/outfielder Angel Mejico was the only effective Leopard, going 2-for-4 in the game.
“Our defense was very strong. Hitting was the downfall in the games that we lost,” said head coach Julie Kline.
The Leopards opened up SCIAC play with a doubleheader at Redlands on Friday. The Bulldogs took the first game from the Leopards with a 5-1 win. Sophomore Lindsey Weber’s triple was all the Bulldog defense allowed during game one.
With a will to win, the Leopards returned the favor to the Bulldogs in the second game. Grey struck the Bulldogs with a triple and an RBI, and junior Liz Lomeli contributed with an RBI of her own. With the offense flowing and freshman pitcher Michelle Geiger on the mound, ULV defeated Redlands, 5-3.
“Hitting is our strength, but we need to work more on execution with runners on base,” said Kline.
The majority of the team is primarily new, with four freshmen; DaValle, Geiger, infielder Jamie Poole and outfielder/ pitcher Jennifer Thompson.
Kline said, “Our players seem to get along well and they’re very supportive of each other. I do think we still need more confidence as a team.”
La Verne looks to continue to win as they will combat Pomona-Pitzer at La Verne, at noon tomorrow. On Tuesday, the Leopards face Wartburg College, from Iowa, at home at 2 p.m.
Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.