Leopards drop midweek matchup to Regals

Freshman pinch runner Ava Chacon is caught stealing second base to the bottom of the sixth inning in the second game of La Verne’s doubleheader against Occidental on Saturday at Campus West. The Leopards split the doubleheader with the Tigers, losing game one, 6-5, and winning game two, 5-2. / photo by Abelina J. Nuñez
Freshman pinch runner Ava Chacon is caught stealing second base to the bottom of the sixth inning in the second game of La Verne’s doubleheader against Occidental on Saturday at Campus West. The Leopards split the doubleheader with the Tigers, losing game one, 6-5, and winning game two, 5-2. / photo by Abelina J. Nuñez

Jonas Holt
Staff Writer

The Leopards fell 4-1 in a tightly contested game against the Cal Lutheran Regals in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference matchup on Tuesday afternoon at Campus West.

The loss followed a strong weekend showing against the Occidental Tigers, in which the Leopards won two of three games.

Freshman pitcher Jada Coria faces Cal Lutheran on Tuesday at Campus West. She struck out two in 5.1 innings of work as the Leopards lost to the Regals, 4-1. / photo by Sheridan Lambrook

Freshman pitcher Jada Coria got the start for the Leopards against Cal Lutheran and went 5.1 innings, giving up four runs on nine hits with two strikeouts. Coria got Regals sophomore leadoff hitter Nadia Collins to fly out to junior center fielder Ashley Rodriguez to start the game. Despite giving up a hit, Coria got the next two outs. 

It was junior pitcher Ashlyn Flinchum who took the mound for the Regals, who went all seven innings, giving up one run on six hits and got the win. Flinchum started off dominant on the mound having a one-two-three inning in the bottom of the first.

“Our performance was really good today, I felt like this was the most we’ve been together,” graduate student shortstop Taylor Gray said. “It was just unfortunate that it wasn’t the result we wanted.”

Junior infielder Abby Strong hit a blooper over Leopards senior third baseman Mia Pintado into left field allowing Diaz to score and give the Regals a 1-0 lead. Coria got out of the jam, getting the next batter to fly out.

The Leopards got their first hit of the game in the bottom of the third inning when junior catcher Alyssa Campbell hit a line drive into left field, followed by an infield hit by junior right fielder Angelina Alderete. 

“I went up there looking to hit the ball hard wherever it was pitched,” Campbell said. “Today felt like one of the first games where we were all up for it.”

The Leopards left the two runners stranded on base as freshman left fielder Julia Miramontes grounded out to Regals junior third baseman Olivia Vargas.

Graduate student infielder Taylor Gray celebrates after scoring a run against Cal Lutheran on Tuesday at Campus West. The Leopards lost, 4-1, in a make-up game that was rescheduled after a rainout earlier in the season. / photo by Sheridan Lambrook

Gray got the Leopards going in the fourth inning with a single up the middle, followed by a bad throw from Regals senior shortstop Emily Blank. Rodriguez then hit a double into the right center gap, bringing in Gray and tying the game at 1-1.

“I saw Flinchum’s pitches already so I knew what to expect, if I just kept my hands on top I knew I’d get a hit,” Rodriguez said. 

Flinchum bounced back and retired the next two, getting a strike out and a pop out. 

The Regals finally got to Coria and broke the game open in the top of the sixth inning, putting up a three spot and not looking back. Vargas kickstarted the Regals’ offensive onslaught with a leadoff single, putting pressure on the Leopards.

With freshman outfielder Kalli Strahm entering as a pinch runner, the stage was set for Diaz to deliver a pivotal blow, smashing a double into the right-center gap and bringing Strahm home from first base, propelling the Regals into a 2-1 lead. 

The onslaught continued as freshman infielder Jessica Waters launched a powerful shot off the left-field wall, resulting in a double and placing runners on second and third with only one out. The pressure mounted further when sophomore infielder Casey Edwards stepped up and delivered another crucial pinch hit double, widening the gap and granting the Regals a commanding 4-1 lead. 

La Verne junior pitcher Kirstin Sanchez hits a single up the middle, allowing junior outfielder Sydney Diaz to score in the sixth inning of the second game of their doubleheader against Occidental on Saturday at Campus West. Sanchez was 1-for-3 at the plate with an RBI, in addition to pitching a complete game. / photo by Abelina J. Nuñez

Amidst the flurry of hits, the Leopards made a pitching change, bringing junior Alayna Munoz into the game in an attempt to quell the Regals’ offensive surge. Despite an error by Pintado that left runners on first and third, Munoz showcased her resilience, navigating through the tense situation and ultimately retiring Collins to escape the inning, minimizing the damage for the Leopards

Jada starting and Alayna coming in relief both did really well, it was just those little bloop hits which were unfortunate,” head coach Tara Anaya said.

The Leopards attempted to rally in the bottom of the seventh, with a walk by sophomore infielder Isabella Garcia and then a double by Campbell put the Leopards in a promising position with two outs. However, Flinchum held her nerve on the mound, striking out junior infielder Erika Garcia swinging to end the game, securing a 4-1 victory for the Regals.

“Overall I thought we did a great job trying to play our game today,” Anaya said.

The Leopards emerged victorious in two out of three games over the weekend against the Occidental Tigers, winning 10-7 on Friday and 5-2 in game two of Saturday’s doubleheader. They dropped the first game of the doubleheader, 6-5.

With the loss against the Regals, the Leopards now stand at 10-18 overall and 4-8 in SCIAC conference play. They now look ahead to a three game series against Pomona-Pitzer which begins at 3 p.m. Friday at Pomona-Pitzer and noon and 2 p.m. Saturday at Campus West.

“We just need to continue to work on quality at bats and get momentum on our side,” Anaya said.

Jonas Holt can be reached at jonas.holt@laverne.edu.

Graduate student infielder Taylor Gray slides home safely in the bottom of the fourth inning against Cal Lutheran on Tuesday at Campus West. Gray’s run was the only one for the Leopards as they lost to the Regals, 4-1. / photo by Sheridan Lambrook
Junior outfielder Ashley Rodriguez catches a flyball in centerfield to end the top of the eighth inning in the first game against Occidental on Saturday at Campus West. However, before La Verne could get the third out, Occidental scored the winning run to take the game from the Leopards, 6-5. / photo by Abelina J. Nuñez
Junior pitcher Alayna Munoz and junior catcher Alyssa Campbell huddle together before La Verne takes the field to start the second game against Occidental on Saturday at Campus West. Munoz took the loss in game one to give her a record of 1-3 on the season. / photo by Abelina J. Nuñez
Members of the La Verne softball team make noise from the dugout to cheer on their teammates in the bottom of the third inning Tuesday at Campus West. The Leopards played the Cal Lutheran Regals in a make-up game due to a rainout earlier in the season. The Regals pulled ahead in the top of the 6th inning to win, 4-1. / photo by Sheridan Lambrook
Junior pitcher Kirstin Sanchez pitches in the second game of La Verne’s doubleheader against Occidental on Saturday at Campus West. Sanchez struck out three Tigers and got the win. La Verne scored three runs in the sixth inning, leading them to a 5-2 victory. / photo by Abelina J. Nuñez

Jonas Holt is a senior journalism major with a concentration in print and online journalism. He is a staff writer and staff photographer for the Campus Times and La Verne Magazine.

Abelina J. Nuñez, senior journalism major, is a photography editor for Campus Times and staff photographer for La Verne Magazine. She previously served as LV Life editor, arts editor social media editor and staff writer. In Fall 2023, Nuñez was La Verne Magazine's editor-in-chief and was previously a staff writer as well. Her work can be found on Instagram @abelinajnunezphoto.

Sheridan Lambrook, a senior journalism major with a concentration in visual journalism, is photography editor and a staff writer for the Campus Times.

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