LA VERNE, Calif. — Amanda Chavez's first home run of the season could not have come at a better time as her three-run shot proved the difference in a 11-8 over Chapman in the second game of a doubleheader at El Camino Real Park on Saturday afternoon. The Leopards lost the first game 3-2 in eight innings.
With the split, the Leopards move to 14-10 in SCIAC play and stays in third place in the standings. Chapman moves to 11-13 in the SCIAC.
Chavez's home run gave La Verne a 5-1 lead and the Leopards looked to cruise to an easy victory as they added six more runs in the next three innings to grab an 11-2 lead after the top of the sixth.
But Chapman mounted a furious rally in the bottom of the sixth. Gabrielle Leveratto pulled the Panthers within five runs with one swing of the bat as she hit a grand slam and the Panthers loaded the bases again with two outs. Chapman then drew two consecutive walks to get within three runs.
The Leopards then turned to Rachel Hong and the senior responded. Hong got Taylor Cartwright to ground out to short to get out of the jam and got three outs in the seventh to earn her first save of the season.
In the first game, the Leopards rallied back from a 2-0 deficit to tie the game in the top of the seventh but the Panthers managed to walk off with an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth.
Hong, who took over for starter Kibbe in the third inning, pitched effectively for 5.2 innings but was unfortunately tagged with the loss. And the Panthers' game-winning run was unearned as Chapman was able to extending the inning on a two-out error by the Leopards.
Schiff clubbed her ninth home run of the season in the fifth to get the Leopards within one and Angelica DeAngelo came up with a clutch two-out RBI double to tie the game in the top of the seventh.
The Leopards return to action next Friday at Redlands for a doubleheader. The first game starts at 2 p.m.