Offense shows up in sweep of Poets

After attemping to steal second base in the fourth inning, La Verne freshman pitcher Ashley Navarro reaches first base just before freshman infielder Sierra Rodriguez lunges for the tag. La Verne won both games of the doubleheader against Whittier Saturday at Campus West, 8-7 and 11-1. /photo by Michael Savall
After attempting to steal second base in the fourth inning, La Verne freshman pitcher Ashley Navarro reaches first base just before freshman infielder Sierra Rodriguez lunges for the tag. La Verne won both games of the doubleheader against Whittier Saturday at Campus West, 8-7 and 11-1. / photo by Michael Savall

Mia López
Staff Writer

With a nail biter for the first game and the teams going back and forth, La Verne swept Whittier in a doubleheader Saturday at Campus West.

The Poets got the game going with a two-run homer over the center field fence in the top of the first.

The Leopards quickly recovered in the bottom of the inning when senior first baseman Alexis Schiff doubled to right field, scoring centerfielder sophomore Carly Condon.

Schiff got the game rolling again in the bottom of the third after sending one over the left field fence to once again bring in Condon, allowing the Leopards to reclaim the lead, 3-2.

“My mentality coming into this game was to dominate and execute,” Condon said. “I was focused on doing whatever it took to get on base for my team.”

Whittier took the lead in the top of the fifth. The Poets started a rally that racked up five runs, giving them a 7-3 lead.

The Leopards answered back with four runs, tying up the game in the bottom of the sixth inning.

As the game came to a standstill, both teams expected to go into extra innings, but Schiff had other plans.

The first baseman smashed the ball over the center field wall for the walk off win, giving the Leopards a 8-7 victory.

“Personally, I think this was one of the best games I’ve ever had,” Schiff said, “I went up there expecting to get walked, but when I saw my pitch I just went for it and it worked out in not only my favor, but the team’s. This was a huge win for us and it will help drive us through the second half of conference.”

The Leopards continued into the second game on a high, and their performance showed it.

They breezed through what would be only a five-inning game.

The Poets took an early 1-0 lead after a ground rule double RBI in the top of the first.

The Leopards tied up the game in the bottom of the second after an RBI by sophomore outfielder Rachel Ogata.

The Leopards then scored a stunning nine runs to give them a lead of 10-1.

“As a team, I feel we have grown a lot but our full potential has yet to be reached,” sophomore catcher Melissa Garcia said.

“I think to improve, we need to just keep working harder than everybody else. If we continue to do that we will eventually reach our full potential and fire on all cylinders,” she said.

Sophomore outfielder Sienna Kendricks sealed the mercy rule victory with a double to right center in the bottom of the fourth for a final score of 11-1.

The Leopards swept Williams College in a doubleheader Tuesday, 6-5 and 5-2.

La Verne is currently on a five-game winning streak for an overall record of 17-5. They are now 10-2 in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play. The Leopards are in first place in SCIAC, two games ahead of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
La Verne also received seven votes from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association to be ranked in the national top 25 Division III rankings.

The Leopards will try and keep the winning streak alive when they travel for a doubleheader against Redlands on Friday, starting at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

La Verne is back at home in a doubleheader against Pomona-Pitzer April 14, starting at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Mia López can be reached at mia.lopez@laverne.edu.

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