WHITTIER, Calif. — The University of La Verne softball team played about as well as it could for 12 innings in two games.
But the other two innings proved the downfall as the Leopards were eliminated from the 2015 SCIAC Postseason Tournament with losses to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Cal Lutheran on Friday at Palmer Field.
Game 1: Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 6, La Verne 5
Carley Rolder of Claremont-Mudd-Scripps hit homers consecutive innings—including a grand slam in the fifth—to lift the Athenas to a 6-5 victory in the first game of the day.
La Verne mounted a furious rally in the bottom of the seventh but fell just short. The Leopard cut the deficit to 6-5 on an error and a double by Katherine Kibbe and had runners on second and third with just one out. Alexis Schiff then broke towards home on an in-between hopper by Amanda Chavez and seemed to have tied the game as CMS catcher Carlene Roberts dropped the ball. But the umpire ruled that Roberts picked it back up in time to tag Schiff out and Tori Baltazar lined out to left to end the game.
The Athenas had a chance go up big early but the Leopards put out the fire. Alexa Heydenberk hit a one bases-loaded single in the first inning to give the Athenas a 1-0 lead and the Athenas threatened for more. But pitcher Kibbe induced a sharp grounder to third and Mackenzie Dutton quickly stepped on the third base bag and fired a bullet towards first for an inning-ending double play.
The Leopards tied it at 1-1 in the third on an RBI groundout by Rebecca Ireland and again at 2-2 after Roleder's solo home run put the Athenas back on top.
The Athenas loaded the bases with two outs in sixth and Roleder sent one over the wall in center to give CMS a 6-2 lead.
Game 2: Cal Lutheran 3, La Verne 2
Starter Hayley Jaquess was in control most of the game and the offense did enough to give her a 2-0 lead going into the final inning.
But Cal Lutheran took advantage of a fielding error in the bottom of the seventh and hit two clutch hits to beat the Leopards, 3-2, in the elimination game for both teams.
After Courtney Sooy drew a walk to lead off the seventh for Cal Lutheran, Christina Hunter tried to push Sooy over to second with a bunt but managed to reach on an error at third. Jaquess then induced a fly out and a ground out that moved the runners over to second and third. Amanda Lewis then pulled a double down the left field line to tie the game at 2-2 and Liz Mertel followed with a walk-off single off the left field wall.
Sooy (11-13) earned the win in the circle, going all seven innings while striking out two.
Jaquess (8-6) was charged with the loss, despite not giving up any earned runs.
BreeAnna De La Rosa went 3-for-3 with an RBI.