The La Verne softball team welcomed the Whittier Poets to Campus West on March 31 for an afternoon conference play matchup, but La Verne struggled both offensively and defensively, losing 5-0.
The Poets continued the sweep of the Leopards on Saturday, winning both games of their doubleheader at the Charles and Marie Palmer Softball Field in Whittier, 4-2 and 7-2.
“Our energy was not there today, along with our communication,” sophomore catcher Alyssa Campbell said. “If those were better, we would have been able to stay in the game.”
Senior pitcher Rachel Rubio started the Friday game for the Leopards, coming in with an 8-3 record.
Whittier junior shortstop Heaven Wolf led off the top of the third inning with a double down the right field line and junior second baseman Lindsey Perry followed with a single, also going into right field. Wolf and Perry both crossed home plate when junior left fielder Emily Adkinson hit a three-run home run over the left field fence, giving the Poets an early 3-0 lead.
The top of the fourth inning began with another double down the right field line from Whittier sophomore catcher Bella Bordine. Junior Kaylie Cervantes, who pinch ran for Bordine, scored when Wolf hit an RBI single to right field, putting the Leopards down 4-0.
Whittier added one more insurance run in the top of the sixth inning when Adkinson singled to left field, scoring freshman center fielder Lucy Brooks and driving in her fourth RBI of the day.
Meanwhile, La Verne’s bats were cold the entire game.
“We need to make more adjustments at the plate,” La Verne junior center fielder Haylee Hsieh said. “We really made no adjustments today so we need to make those quicker and get more runners on. Our defense needs to back up our pitcher as well.”
Whittier senior pitcher Jamie Garvey threw a complete game, striking out three batters, walking one, and only allowing two hits, one double down the left field line in the bottom of the third inning by Campbell and another double to center field off the bat of senior first baseman Marissa Acosta in the bottom of the seventh inning.
“We have to control our game,” associate head coach Tara Anaya said. “We need quality at bats and to supply runs to our pitcher. We can’t really do much without many quality at bats. Going forward, we’re going to go back to the basics and try to keep it simple.”
Despite the double by Acosta in the seventh inning, the Leopards could not get a run across the board and put the 5-0 shutout loss in the books.
“We need to come out and show no mercy,” Rubio said. “We can’t be comfortable where we are, thinking it’ll carry over. We have to come out with a hungry mindset.”
La Verne is now 14-11 overall and 2-6 in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play. They are in sixth place in the SCIAC softball standings, trailing Whittier, who is in fifth place, and in front of Cal Lutheran and Occidental who are in seventh and eighth place.
The Leopards will look to bounce back when they open up a three game series against the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas at 3 p.m. Friday at Campus West. The series will wrap up with a doubleheader at Athena Field in Claremont on Saturday, with the games starting at noon and 2 p.m.
Sydney Ferris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.