Saturday was a rough day for the softball team as it dropped both games in a doubleheader against Redlands with scores of 5-2 in game one and 11-8 in game two at Wheeler Park.
By taking both games from La Verne, Redlands is now in sole possession of first place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with a record of 31-9 overall and 19-5 in SCIAC. The Leopards now find themselves in third place behind Claremont-Mudd-Scripps with a record of 21-14 overall and 14-6 in SCIAC.
“We won the battle but we didn’t win the war,” head coach Julie Smith said. “I am proud, but I am disappointed that we let it slip. I am not disappointed in them, I am disappointed for them.”
In the first game the Bulldogs took an early lead going up 2-0 in the second. The Leopards came back in the bottom of the fifth to tie it up with senior shortstop Ashley Paul’s single scoring Mandy Brenner and Daryn Schiveley.
In bottom of the sixth, the Leopards were battling to take the lead with the bases loaded and one out, but were unable to bring any runs in.
“We went into these games wanting to win, but (Redlands) carried the momentum,” junior second baseman Tara Allis said.
In the top of the seventh, the Bulldogs took the lead when freshman outfielder Amanda Lievanos walked to load the bases. First baseman Lizette Casillas hit a sacrifice fly ball to left field, which gave the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead. Redlands scored two more runs in the inning to make it 5-2, giving the Leopards one more inning to try and take the lead.
The Leopards did not capitalize in the bottom of the seventh, as it was a 1,2,3 inning.
“We can’t just come out scoring just three runs in the first game, we have to keep scoring and keep hitting,” junior outfielder Dee Dee Burns said.
In the second game, the Leopards came back with a lot more energy when Amanda Hastings was hit by a pitch and Allis singled. That brought up Burns who singled up the middle, bringing home Hastings. Then Raven Freret doubled to right field scoring both Allis and Burns giving the Leopards an early 3-0 lead.
The Bulldogs came back in the bottom of the third to tie the game 3-3. Redlands then had a huge fourth inning, scoring six more runs taking a 9-3 lead. The Bulldogs scored once more in the top of the fifth giving them a 10-3 lead.
La Verne battled in the bottom of the sixth, as Burns hit a solo homerun to left centerfield with runners on second and third with two outs, but the Leopards were unable to get any more runs in the inning.
The score was 10-4 as the Leopards came back aggressively in the bottom of the seventh. Allis singled to left bringing in one run. Burns then came up to the plate with one out, Brenner at second, and Paul at third and hit her second homerun of the game to left field. That would be all the offense the Leopards would be able to create, giving the Bulldogs an 11-8 victory.
“I came up to the plate thinking that something needs to get done, someone needed a hit and do whatever it takes,” Burns said.
The Leopards host Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday for a doubleheader that will be held at Wheeler Park.
“We are looking forward to the SCIAC tournament,” Allis said. “We won it last year and we know we can do it again this year.”
Cheryl Regan can be reached at email@example.com.