Leos produce big wins in Texas

Ashley Savage hit the first home run of game one in the bottom of the third inning, putting the Leopards on the board, 1-1. Savage was greeted at home by her cheering teammates. In the doubleheader on April 8, La Verne beat Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 5-1, in the first game and 4-3 in the second, giving the Leopards their sixth consecutive win. / photo by Kelly Rivas
Ashley Savage hit the first home run of game one in the bottom of the third inning, putting the Leopards on the board, 1-1. Savage was greeted at home by her cheering teammates. In the doubleheader on April 8, La Verne beat Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 5-1, in the first game and 4-3 in the second, giving the Leopards their sixth consecutive win. / photo by Kelly Rivas

Galo Pesantes
Staff Writer

The University of La Verne softball team honored its seniors as it faced Claremont-Mudd-Scripps for a doubleheader on April 8, in its last home game of the season. The Leopards responded by not only winning both games but winning their 20th overall on the season.

In the first game, Mary Olson struck out nine Athenas and walked only one while giving up seven hits in the win.

“My arm felt good. Our whole team got in a rhythm , it was a great win,” Olson said.

In addition, the top of the order led the Leopards on offense with five hits resulted in five runs for La Verne. The first game went to the home team with a final score of 5-1.

In game two, Leopards batters pounced on the Athenas early in the first inning to score four runs. The tandem of starter Amanda Jones and reliever Kelly Ince combined to give up only two earned runs and seven hits on the day. It proved to be all the Leopards needed as they went on to win 4-3.

The team then headed to Texas for six games spanning over three days against several formidable schools. The Leopards concluded their Texas three stop road trip by taking four wins out of the six games played.

La Verne’s first stop was in Belton, as they were hosted the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in the opening doubleheader. In game one, La Verne starter Olson set the tone with her pitching performance as she finished with a complete game. She notched seven strikeouts and gave up only two runs for the game. Offense was slow in the first three innings, as the first run was not scored until the Leopards scored in the fourth inning on an error.

The next inning, third baseman Kelly Silagyi had two RBIs on a double towards left field, while center fielder Amanda Jones added another run with her double to center. Designated hitter Jodi Lindsay also finished the day going 3-3 at the plate including one walk. The Leopards eventually took the first game with a final score of 5-2.

The second game was a different story as MHB pulled the same script from the Leopards in the last game. Starter Daphne Kahlig went the entire game gaining seven strikeouts and allowing only two runs. The Leopards lone two runs came in the fourth and sixth innings. Silagyi doubled to center to start things off, and later outfielder Morgan Dobis brought her home with her own double to center field.

In the sixth inning, Jones came through with a solo shot to center field to end up as the only run in the inning. Defense was the story of game two for the Leopards as they suffered through three errors in the third inning where MHB capitalized on with six runs. The Crusaders went on to win the game with a final of 9-2.

The Leopards next stop was Kerrville as the Leopards were slated against Schreiner. Dobis began the first inning by bringing two Leopards home on a single that would leave two still on at the end of the inning. La Verne scored two more runs in the third and fifth innings until they exploded for six runs in the sixth inning.

Silagyi again led the charge with a two run home run along with four other runs in the inning. Leopards’ pitching was headed by starter Olson and reliever Karina Ortiz, and Kelly Ince which combined for nine strikeouts and only gave up seven hits for the duration of the game. The Leopards took the first game from the home team winning by two runs, 10-8.

The Leopards would complete the sweep in game two of the series as the long ball proved to be a viable weapon. La Verne hit three home runs in the game including a grand slam by lead off hitter Ashley Savage in the last inning of the game. The grand slam was the last of the flurry of home runs in the seventh inning as Jones and Dobis both homered in the beginning of the inning.

The Leopards finished the game with an astounding 16 hits in scoring a total of 12 runs. Jones earned the win for the Leopards as she relieved Ince after two innings of work. Jones only gave up three runs and no walks as she finished the game. The Leopards won the game by a decisive margin, 12-3.

In their last series, La Verne traveled to San Antonio to the home of Trinity. Both teams entered the doubleheader with 20-plus wins on the season and few losses to their name. As a result, it was expected that game one was close throughout because of the impeccable pitching from both schools.

The lone run in the game came from Trinity in the bottom of the first on a ground out to short. The rest of the game was led by pitching on both sides. The Leopards’ Olson was sent to the mound and finished another complete game giving up only four hits and striking out four batters.

However, the La Verne batters were completely shut down by Trinity junior starter Erin Mulvey. The Leopards only managed to end the game with two hits to their credit while Trinity finished the game with two more hits than La Verne. The game was deadlocked for six innings after the opening inning, as Trinity won 1-0.

Game two began again with Trinity striking first with the first two runs in the first inning. However, La Verne was able to respond three innings later as infielder Jessica DeGiacomo singled to score Silagyi for their first run of the game.

In the fifth inning, the Leopards added four more runs highlighted by three run double driven by Jones. Jones also pitched the first four innings allowing only four hits and two walks while picking up her seventh win of the season. The Leopard offense added two more runs as they finished the game with 10 hits and a four run victory, 10-6.

“We were on top of our game, offensively we did every thing right,” Silagyi said.

“They were definitely good regional teams to play against in Texas,” said Jones. “Playing those games in Texas really put those games in perspective before we head on to the rest of our games”, Jones added.

The La Verne softball team (24-10) finished the road trip 4-2 as they head home for the final six conference match-ups. The Leopards will go back on the road to Whittier to take on the Poets today with the first pitch at 2 p.m.

Galo Pesantes can be reached at gpesantes@ulv.edu.

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