by Greg MacDonald
After splitting two games with the Whittier Poets last Friday, the University of La Verne softball team split a non-conference two-game set with the UC San Diego Tritons on Saturday.
The Leopards were shut out in the opening game, 8-0, against the Tritons. But ULV won the second game, 6-4, in come-from-behind fashion.
“As in most sports, if you do not score it is hard to win. But the second game, the team adjusted in the batter’s box and we were able to pull through,” said head coach Julie Kline.
The visiting Tritons led for most of the second game against Leopards’ freshman pitcher Michelle Geiger. Geiger is fifth in SCIAC (through April 20) in strikeouts with 29.
UCSD scored two runs in the third inning on three hits and two runs in the sixth inning on a walk and a home run. The Tritons took their 4-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning.
The bottom of the sixth was a hit parade for the Leopards. Sophomore center fielder Lindsey Weber led off the inning with a triple. A single from sophomore third baseman Angel Mejico scored Weber and got ULV on the board. The triple was Weber’s fifth, which leads the conference, followed by senior Laurie Grey with four triples.
The next two batters, senior first baseman Katie Miner and junior right fielder Teresa Garcia each singled to load the bases. Miner finished the game with six RBIs. Juniors Lateka Clayton, designated hitter, and Jaime Anderson, left fielder, followed the duo with singles of their own to drive in two more Leopard runs which cut the UCSD lead to 4-3.
The bases remained loaded until senior shortstop Kelly Perkins hit a sacrifice fly in center field to plate another ULV run. Senior second baseman Jenna Bowman then grounded out to second base. But on the throw to first base, Garcia scored to tie the Tritons at four.
Grey put the Leopards ahead for good with a two out single which scored two runs and provided the margin of victory, 6-4.
“UC San Diego is a much improved team from last [year]. They are currently ranked fourth in the West Region, so a split with them was exciting for our program,” said Kline.
Against the Poets, La Verne also dropped the first game, 6-3, but came back to win the second, 8-3.
“I felt on Friday we should have won both games hands down,” said Kline. “We just did not execute with players on base.”
The Leopards scored four runs in the first inning and never looked back in the second game against Whittier. ULV added four more runs over the final four innings to win easily. Weber scored three times and had two hits to make a winner out of starting freshman pitcher Teresa DaValle.
Following the weekend, the Leopards lead the conference in hitting with a .345 average, as well as doubles, 41, and triples, with 18.
The Leopards’ next game is today as they travel to Pomona-Pitzer for a 3 p.m. start. Tomorrow they host Cal Lutheran at noon.
Journalism operations manager at the University of La Verne. Production manager and business manager of the Campus Times.