by Christian A. Lopez
The University of La Verne women’s softball team got out to an explosive start with an 8-6 victory over Master’s College in game one of Saturday’s doubleheader at Wheeler Park, but stumbled with a 5-0 shutout loss in game two.
In game one of the doubleheader, the Leopards launched an all out offensive attack putting up eight points on the scoreboard and accumulating a total of 14 hits.
Although the Mustangs took a 2-1 lead after the first inning, the Leopards answered back with three runs in the second inning and two in the third.
The Leopards led 6-2 going into the fourth inning, but the Mustangs were able to respond with three runs and closed the gap in the lead by one point.
With the Mustangs surging a comeback, the Leopards began to feel the pressure, but were able to step up in the fifth inning and score two more runs that gave La Verne an 8-5 lead.
The Mustangs were able to put up one more point in the seventh inning to make it 8-6, but sophomore pitcher Mandy Tillema was able to preserve the win for La Verne.
Tillema pitched a complete game, seven innings for the Leopards limiting the Mustangs to only seven hits. She had four strikeouts and three walks in the contest.
Offensively, senior catcher Kadie Tillema led the way with three hits, two runs scored and one run batted in. Sophomore Jackie Russo also contributed two hits, two runs scored, one RBI and freshman Brandi Thompson had one hit and two RBI.
In game two, Master’s College matched La Verne’s offensive efforts of game one scoring four of the Mustangs five runs in the first inning alone.
The Leopards defense managed to keep the Mustangs scoreless the rest of the game, except for a score in the final inning.
La Verne sophomore pitcher Sue Whitcher gave up six hits for La Verne in six innings and Sophomore Mandy Tillema finished in the seventh, giving up three hits of the Mustangs’ total of nine.
Master’s pitching was led by Stephanie Drenon who pitched the full seven innings and limited the Leopards to only six hits in the contest.
Leading the way for the Leopards offense were Mandy Tillema and senior left fielder Robin Haaker with two hits each.
The team needs to step it up if it wants to improve on their 1-3 record.
“If we take it up just another step will be a way better team than we are right now,” said Thompson.
The Leopards’ next game will be a doubleheader today and tomorrow against Redlands University. Today’s game will be at Wheeler Park at 3 p.m. and tomorrow’s game will be at Redlands at noon.