THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The University of La Verne softball team was within striking distance in both games of its doubleheader against Cal Lutheran, but could not string together enough hits as it fell short in both games.
Game 1: Cal Lutheran 7, La Verne 2
A big Cal Lutheran fourth inning was the difference as La Verne dropped Game 1, 7-2.
With the game tied at 2-2, the Regals put together five hits in the fourth inning to score five runs, which turned out to be the difference in the game. La Verne starter Haley Jacquess struck out the first batter, but the five following batters for Cal Lutheran all reached base as Katelyn Downing scored on an error and Blake Lewis drove one in with an infield single to give the Regals a 4-2 lead. Shonna Christianson and Liz Mertel each came up with a single later in the inning to plate three more for Cal Lutheran
La Verne had knotted the game at 2-2 in the top of the fourth inning when Raven Freret doubled to deep left center to bring home Danielle Vela and Breeanna De La Rosa, both of whom had reached to lead off the inning.
However, the Leopards could not sustain the offensive momentum.
The Regals got out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning with a pair of two-out RBI hits. Lewis doubled to knock in two and Danika Green followed with an RBI hit of her own.
Freret finished the game 1 for 3 with two RBIs.
Katelyn Downing earned the win for the Regals, pitching a complete game with three strikeouts and two runs allowed. She also had a good day at the plate, going 3 for 4.
Game 2: Cal Lutheran 5, La Verne 2
Melisa Sponholz started a last-gasp rally with a two-out, two-RBI double in the seventh, but it was too little, too late as La Verne lost 5-2.
Cal Lutheran got on the board first when they scored two on a throwing error in the bottom of the third.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Regals put two on the bases to lead off the inning. One batter later, Liz Mertel singled up the middle to plate Christina Hunter and Downing also singled to score Taylor Beachem to go up 4-0.
The Regals added one more in the sixth when Mertel's infield single scored Courtney Sooy who had tripled to lead off the inning.
La Verne bats were held in check. Schiff had the Leopards only other hit of the game – a single in the seventh.
La Verne (2-6, 2-2 SCIAC) returns to action when it travels to Orange to face Chapman on March 1 at 12 p.m.