TYLER, Texas — Every story has an ending and the 2017 La Verne Leopards closed the book on theirs as they fell 7-3 to No. 5 Texas Lutheran on Friday afternoon at Suddenlink Field.
La Verne finishes the season with 31-14 overall record and having made the NCAA Championship tournament for the first time since 2010.
Senior Alexis Schiff, the nation's second-leading home run hitter, didn't leave Texas without leaving her mark as she deposited a 2-run home run over the left field fence in the top of the fourth inning to tie the game at 3-3.
But the Bulldogs came right back to put a 4-spot in the bottom half of the inning to break the tie. Courtney Mica and Kyla Lockley started the inning with back-to-back bunt singles and Brayden Pinckard cashed in both runners with a triple to right center. Kaymee Goodwin followed with a bloop single to left field to plate Pinckard and Nicole Snow hit an RBI double two batters later to give the Bulldogs a 7-3 lead.
Rachel Ogata led off the sixth inning with a single up the middle and advanced all the way to third, but the Leopards couldn't bring her home.
Katheryn Navarro hit a one-out pinch-hit single in the seventh inning but was stranded on second to end the game.
After notching La Verne's only hit in the first game of the day against No. 4 Texas-Tyler, Haley Gomez got the Leopards off to a good start with a solo shot to left center in the second inning. But the Bulldogs took advantage of a pair of walks and a couple of singles in the bottom of the second to take a 2-1 lead and added a run in the third on an RBI single by Cassie Roche.
The Leopards lose Schiff and pitcher Hayley Jaquess to graduation but will return the rest of the roster to make another run in 2018.