Combining for 15 runs and 28 hits, the University of La Verne softball team opened its 2013 campaign with a pair of wins over visiting Arizona Christian University by scores of 8-2 and 7-0 Friday at Wheeler Park.
Arizona Christian was playing its first games in program history as 2013 marks its initial season of intercollegiate softball.
In the first game, freshman Katherine Kibbe impressed not only with her pitching but also at the plate in her first-ever start for the Leopards. Kibbe earned the win in six innings of work, yielding two runs on three hits while striking out five. Additionally, she went 3-4 with two doubles and two RBI.
Kibbe's double in the bottom of the first scored Breanna De La Rosa to put the Leopards on top 1-0. La Verne added another run in the bottom of the third on a double from Raven Freret to score Danielle Vela for a 2-0 lead.
La Verne added two runs in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI double from Mackenzie Dutton and an RBI groundout from Laura Olson to take a 4-0 cushion. In the fifth, La Verne plated three more runs on a second double from Kibbe along with a sac fly from Candice Nunez and an RBI single from Dutton to increase the lead to 7-0.
Arizona Christian got on the board in the top of the sixth on a pair of RBI singles. In the bottom of the frame, La Verne plated its final run on a sac fly from Freret.
La Verne pounded out 13 hits, led by Kibbe (3-4) followed by Freret (2-3), Dutton (2-3) and Vela.
Leading 1-0, the Leopards struck for two runs in the bottom of the third when Kibbe hit a run-scoring double to plate De La Rosa. Nunez would follow with an RBI single to score Kibbe for a 3-0 lead.
La Verne added three more runs in the fourth on consecutive run-scoring doubles from Freret and Kibbe, followed by a sac fly from Hong to take a 6-0 lead. In the bottom of the sixth, Freret scored on an RBI single from Hong to conclude the scoring.
Freret and De La Rosa belted three hits apiece for the Leopards while Hong went 2-3 at the plate with three RBI. All told, La Verne collected 15 hits for the contest.
La Verne (2-0) resumes action Saturday as it plays host to Whitworth (3-1) for two games at Wheeler Park. Start time is 12:00 pm.