The University of La Verne bounced back from an opening game shutout against Chapman University to register a mercy-rule victory in the nightcap to earn a split with the Panthers in SCIAC softball action Saturday at El Camino Real Park in Orange.
In the opener, La Verne was held to four hits as Chapman starter Natalie Both recorded nine strikeouts in a complete-game victory.
Chapman went on top in the bottom of the third when Jenny Richards led off with a triple and would later score on an Amy Serven single for a 1-0 lead. The Panthers added three runs in the fourth inning when Richards drove in a pair of runs on a single, and Serven would put the Panthers up 4-0 on an RBI groundout.
The Leopard bats came alive in the second game as they combined for 11 hits to top the Panthers in five innings.
In the top of the first, Freret doubled to center to score Danielle Vela for the Leopards' first run of the afternoon. Kibbe would follow with a double to right center to drive in Freret for a 2-0 Leopard advantage.
La Verne (7-2, 4-2 SCIAC) would add three runs in the fourth inning as Candice Nunez and Dutton connected for back-to-back doubles. Nunez drove home Freret with Dutton following with a two-run double to score both Jackie Duran and Nunez for a 5-0 lead.
In the top of the fifth, Freret led off with a double and would come into score on a RBI single from Dutton. Melisa Sponholz would follow with a two-run single to right to plate both Kibbe and Dutton for an 8-0 cushion.
Kibbe closed out the bottom half of the fifth inning, to preserve the mercy-rule victory for the Leopards as she improved to 4-0 on the season. Kibbe allowed just two hits in the win.
Freret was 3-3 at the plate with 3 runs scored while Dutton went 2-3 with 3 RBI in the win as La Verne dealt Chapman (7-1, 5-1 SCIAC) its first loss of the season.
The Leos resume action on Saturday, March 2 when they play host to Occidental College in a doubleheader at Wheeler Park beginning at 12:00 pm.