The La Verne softball team came out ready to win as they took on a doubleheader against visiting Buena Vista Tuesday afternoon at Campus West. The Leopards won the first game, 14-3, along with pulling through to win the second game, 7-3.
The Leopards started off game one by allowing a quick run to the Beavers. However, that did not stop their offense from scoring three runs in the bottom of the first to go up, 3-1.
La Verne senior shortstop Taylor Gray, who led the team with three hits, said the team has been struggling with their doubleheaders recently, but today’s outcome was a big step up.
“We had a team talk on Monday, and we really changed our mindset,” Gray said. “We chirped in their ears, they chirped back, but I think we did a good job adjusting and not letting our foot off.”
The Leopards scored twice in the second inning but really shut down the Beavers in the bottom of the third inning by scoring five more runs, leaving the Beavers behind with a score of 10-1.
“I’m really proud of everyone because we had great energy today and we were there for our teammates the whole game,” Julie Contreras, junior third baseman, said. “We had each other’s back, and when one person got down, another person picked them up.”
The Beavers put two runs on the board in the top of the fifth causing the Leopards to carry out a pitching change from senior starting pitcher Rachel Rubio to freshman pitcher Kaiden Olmos. With the Leopards able to hold a steady lead, the game ended in the fifth inning due to a mercy rule.
“We did well at scoring runners, and we had a lot of them scoring positions,” Marissa Acosta, senior first baseman, said. “I think we did a great job backing up our pitcher whether that was with our sticks or with our gloves.”
In the second game of the night, the Leopards jumped on top by scoring four runs in the first inning, but the Beavers kept a tight hold on them until the bottom of the sixth when the Leopards were able to secure their lead with three more runs to go up, 7-3.
Taking the win in both games leaves the Leopards with a record of 8-5 overall and 1-1 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Head coach Dennis Blas believes the team is doing what they need to get done and they just need to get focused for the rest of the season.
“I think our hitting today went well, and we were able to score some runs early on in the game. We just got to get more consistent to score all the time and not just in one spot,” Blas said. “We got another two tomorrow. That’s the best thing about this game, you get to come back tomorrow and go again.”
The Leopards’ Wednesday doubleheader was against Manhattanville. They dropped the first game in a tight 2-0 loss but redeemed themselves with a 3-1 game two win.
The doubleheaders keep coming for the Leopards, with two games against Worcester Polytechnic Institute on Thursday, followed by a single game at Pomona-Pitzer at 3 p.m. Friday, then another doubleheader against the Sagehens at Campus West at noon and 2 p.m. Saturday.
Ashlyn Ledbetter can be reached at email@example.com.