LA VERNE – Raven Freret lifted the University of La Verne softball team to a 2-1 win in Game 1 with a home run and a double, but two errors cost the Leopards in Game 2 as they settled for a doubleheader split against Whittier on Friday at Campus West.
Game 1: La Verne 2, Whittier 1
Raven Freret drove in two runs on a solo home run and a double, and that's all La Verne needed in a 2-1 victory over Whittier in Game 1.
Freret laced an opposite field double down the left field line in the bottom of the first to score Danielle Vela, who led off the game with double of her own and in the bottom of the third, Freret lifted a first pitch fastball from Whittier pitcher Courtney DeLano over the right field fence to give the Leopards a 2-0 lead.
Freshman Hayley Jaquess was excellent once again in the circle for the Leopards. Jaquess scattered six hits in a complete-game effort and her only blemish came in the final inning.
In the top of the seventh, Whittier loaded the bases with one out and threatened to tie, or even take the lead. Alexandra Flores hit a sacrifice fly to deep right to bring in Jordan Learn, cutting the deficit to 2-1. Jaquess then threw a wild pitch and walked Emi Shimamoto to put the winning run on base. But Jaquess gathered herself and caught Samantha Mellano looking to end the game.
Jaquess is now 7-3 in conference play with 1.47 ERA.
DeLano was tagged with the loss, giving up two runs in five innings. She walked seven.
Freret and Vela both finished the game with two hits for the Leopards.
Mellano led the Poets with two hits.
Game 2: Whittier 4, La Verne 1
Two fielding errors in the 4th inning cost the Leopards as they lost, 4-1, in Game 2.
The two errors led to three unearned runs and the Poets added four hits on top of that to score all four runs in the inning.
After Mickala Gonzales singled through the left side to lead off the 4th, Mercedez Cundiff reached on an error by the shortstop and both advanced a base on the throw. Gonzales then scored on a wild pitch by La Verne starter Katherine Kibbe and Learn promptly followed with a single to left to score Cundiff. Whittier then loaded the bases on a walk and a single, and Learn came around to score when Vela dropped a popup drifting over to the right field line. Shimamoto capped the inning off with an RBI single to left.
La Verne got on the board first. The Leopards went ahead in the when Vela sacrificed in Alexis Schiff with deep flyout to center. Schiff had doubled to lead off the inning and Rebecca Ireland moved her over to third with a bunt.
Schiff led the Leopards with two hits in the game.
Kibbe gave up four runs—one earned—and six hits in her second complete game effort in a row with a walk. In her last two starts, she's given up just eight hits and one earned run in 14 innings.
Samanthan Blum picked up the win for the Poets, give up one run on five hits.
The Leopards return to the field tomorrow for their final home game of the season against No. 15 Redlands starting at noon. Before the game, La Verne will honor its four graduating seniors: Jacklyn Duran, Raven Freret, Laura Olson and Melisa Sponholz.
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