Pui Lok Choi
After winning the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament, the University of La Verne softball team fell short in its third straight NCAA Regionals appearance on Friday after being shutout, 1-0, in the first game by Louisiana College and losing in eight innings to Texas-Tyler, 11-8, in the second game.
“We had a lot of ups and downs but we were able to battle back and win the SCIAC and get into the NCAA regionals,” junior pitcher Delaney Baylor said.
Baylor led the team in earned run average with a stellar 2.90 mark and also led the pitching staff with 15 wins and 102 strikeouts.
Freshman pitcher Brittney Flores finished the year with a 7-6 record after posting a 3.32 earned run average and 86 strikeouts.
“We continually progressed and got better throughout the season,” senior outfielder Melissa Carlson said. “We were focused on the end rather than each individual outcome.”
Carlson and junior shortstop Ashley Paul were given first team all-SCIAC honors.
Carlson finished the year leading the Leopards in hitting with a .406 batting average to go along with 18 RBIs and a .506 on base percentage.
Paul was not far behind, hitting .388 while slugging .604.
The duo were also members of the 2010 National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-West Region first team while sophomore outfielder Dee Dee Burns was selected to the second team.
“Being All-SCIAC is an awesome feeling and a big accomplishment since there is good competition and athletes in the SCIAC,” Paul said.
Burns, Tara Allis and Lissa Ishihara also earned 2010 all-SCIAC second team recognition.
Burns paced the Leopards with 51 RBIs to go along with a .386 average and two home runs.
“The season went well, we never lost sight of goals of winning the SCIAC and making into post-season play,” Paul said. “Next season I look forward to getting back to where we were this year but continue past regionals and go to the World Series.”
With only one senior on the 2010 roster, the Leopards look to build on the success of the season moving into 2011.
After four seasons, Carlson bids farewell to her Leopard career.
“I’m sad that I won’t be playing competitively anymore. Most of all, I’m going to miss being a part of a team,” Carlson said.
“We will definitely be stronger and we will be more experienced next season,” Baylor said.
Pui Lok Choi can be reached at email@example.com.