LA VERNE, Calif. — In a complete turnaround from the SCIAC opener at Thousand Oaks on Feb. 14, the University of La Verne softball team dropped a pair of games to Cal Lutheran on Friday at Campus West.
The Leopards beat the Regals, 21-2 and 11-1, in their first meeting but was unable to ignite the offense on a chilly, overcast day.
La Verne falls to 7-7 overall and 3-3 in SCIAC play. Cal Lutheran improves to 6-9 and 6-3.
Game 1: Cal Lutheran 4, La Verne 3 (10 inn.)
Mackenzie Dutton slugged her second homerun of the season in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game at 3-3, but Cal Lutheran scratched together a run in the top of the 10th and held in the bottom half of the inning to come away with a 4-3 win.
The Regals elected to sacrifice the tiebreaker runner to third base in the top of the tenth. Rachel Hong then got Antonia Rapisardi to ground out to short but walked the next batter to give the Regals another shot. Christina Hunter then singled to left field to score the winning run.
The Leopards also sacrificed their tiebreaker runner over to third in the bottom of the 10th, but could not bring the run home.
Both teams scored in the first inning, but the starters settled in and turned the game into a pitchers' duel.
Courtney Sooy led off the game with a towering homer over the left field fence. The Leopards responded with an RBI double by Dutton followed by an Amanda Chavez knock.
The Regals tied it at 2-2 in the third inning after Sooy doubled and Olivia Leyva drove her in with a hard hit single to the shortstop.
Both teams combined for only five hits until the Regals broke the tie in the ninth with back-to-back doubles to lead off the innings.
Dutton finished 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBI to lead the Leopards.
Sooy, in addition to going 3-for-4, pitched all 10 innings to pick up a complete game victory.
Hayley Jaquess also turned in an admirable performance for La Verne, going nine innings while striking out five.
Game 2: Cal Lutheran 7, La Verne 4
La Verne could not overcome sloppy fielding in a 7-4 loss in Game 2.
The Leopards committed a total of five errors and only three of Cal Lutheran's seven runs were earned.
With the game tied at 4-4 in the sixth inning, Cal Lutheran took advantage of two errors to score the winning run. Leadoff batter Makenna Pellerin reached on an error by the shortstop and came home after two singles and fielder's choice to give the Regals a 5-4 lead. Cal Lutheran added another run as the pitcher bobbled a comebacker with the bases loaded.
The Regals tacked on an insurance run in the seventh with a run-scoring double by Olivia Leyva.
The Regals got on the board first in the third inning with a pair of throwing errors. Then, after a double and a walk to load the bases, Katherine Kibbe relieved starter Rachel Hong. Kibbe sat down her first batter with a swinging strikeout but lost the next batter with a walk and Cal Lutheran grabbed a 2-0 lead.
The Leopards responded immediately in the bottom third with a two-out, two-run single by Rebecca Ireland and took their first lead of the game in the fourth when Victoria Baltazar drove in Alexis Schiff in the fourth.
Baltazar finished the game 2-for-3.
Christina Hunter drew three walks and scored three runs for the Regals while going 1-for-2.
La Verne returns to action tomorrow as they host Pomona-Pitzer for a doubleheader. First game starts at noon.