Leopards Split Doubleheader With Whittier

Leopards Split Doubleheader With Whittier

A SCIAC softball doubleheader between the University of La Verne and Whittier College ended in a split Saturday afternoon at Wheeler Park.

The Leopards overcame a 5-0 deficit in the opener to rally past the Poets 6-5 with the Poets rallying from down 3-0 to earn a 5-3 victory in the second game.

Raven Freret provided the game-winning shot with a two-run homer over the right centerfield fence in the bottom of the sixth.

Mercedez Cundiff hit a grand slam homer in the top of the third inning to provide the visitors with a 4-0 lead.  Whittier would push across another run on a sacrifice fly to grab a 5-0 cushion.

Katherine Kibbe got the Leopards on the board with her fourth homer of the season - a solo shot over the left field fence in the bottom of the third - to cut the deficit to 5-1. 

La Verne (13-7, 7-7 SCIAC) would then close to within 5-4 with a three-run frame.  Danielle Vela smacked a two-run double to plate Mackenzie Dutton and Breeanna De La RosaRachel Hong followed and would reach on a fielding error which would bring in Vela to pull within a run.

Rebecco Ho earned the win for the Leos in relief, working the final 4.2 innings allowing four hits while striking out eight batters.

In the second game, the Leopards got off to a strong start as Kibbe drove in a pair of runs in the bottom of the first for a 2-0 Leopard lead.  In the bottom of the third, Candice Nunez connected on a RBI double to score Vela to take a three-run advantage.

Whittier (11-5, 5-5 SCIAC) would respond with a pair of runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings to take a 4-3 lead.  The Poets, who tallied 11 hits in the contest, added a run in the sixth on a Leopard error to provide the final margin of victory.  

Alex Flores and Samantha Mellano each went 2-4 at the plate for the Poets.  Hong had a multi-hit game for the Leopards also going 2-4 with two runs scored.

La Verne will next be in action on Wednesday as it plays host to Linfield - ranked No. 9 in the latest NFCA Top 25 Poll - in a doubleheader at Wheeler Park beginning at 2:00 pm.