Dutton blasts two grand slams to rescue split against Redlands

Photo by Katie Pyne

LA VERNE, Calif. — Mackenzie Dutton blasted two grand slams--the first two of her life--to rescue a split against Redlands on Monday at Campus West. The Leopards dropped the first game, 12-6, but came back to win the night cap, 8-7.

With La Verne trailing, 7-2, in the sixth inning, Dutton lifted an 0-1 fastball over the right center field wall to to get the Leopards within 7-6.

The Leopards parlayed the momentum into the seventh for a walkoff win. After a quick first out, Victoria Baltazar drew a walk and Sienna Kendricks doubled to put runners on second and third with just one out. Michelle Deguzman promptly lined a single to center to tie the game at 7-7 and Carly Condon drove to right field to sacrifice Kendricks home.

La Verne moves to 7-4 overall and 6-2 in the SCIAC. Redlands goes to 7-3 and 4-2.

The Leopards fell behind early in both games but La Verne head coach Julie Smith implored her players not to fold. "I told them, 'The Leopards don't give up,' and asked them to challenge themselves to just put some hits together," Smith said. "I told them to ignore the scoreboard and just do our jobs."

Dutton was 4-for-8 on the day with eight runs batted in and three runs scored.

"Mackenzie is a player you always want in the box with people on the bases," Smith said of her star third baseman. "She's so confident and she's sees the ball really big in those situations. She was patient and stuck to her fundamentals."

Hayley Jaquess (3-1), who had trouble locating her pitches to start game, fought through her struggles and buckled down when it mattered to pick up the win. She retired the last seven batters she faced to provide a boost to the late rally.

Redlands used an explosive eight-run second inning to beat the Leopards in the first game.

The Bulldogs sent 14 batters to the plate in the second inning and took a 9-0 lead. AJ Carrasco knocked in the inning's first run with a single and capped off the big inning for Redlands with an RBI infield single. Amanda Ang and Vicki King added a pair of run-scoring hits, Mika Imoto drew a bases-loaded walk and Lauren Hernandez was hit by a pitch immediately after Imoto.

The Leopards did not go down quietly as they struck for six in the third inning. Dutton sent one to opposite field for a grand slam and Alexis Schiff followed it up with a solo shot to straight away center.

Melissa Garcia tacked on one more with an RBI single to left to trim the deficit to 9-6 but that was all the Leopards would get. The Bulldogs added three more runs in the top of the fifth and held on for the win.

Dutton finished 2-for-4 with a run and four batted in. Katherine Kibbe went 2-for-4 and Garcia was 2-for-3.

The Bulldogs compiled 18 total hits and Dani Santos paced the team with four hits.

Lindsey Mifsud (3-2), who took over for starter Mika Imoto during La Verne's onslaught in the third inning, pitched 4.2 scoreless innings to get the win for the Bulldogs.

Kibbe (3-3) pitched well outside of the second inning but was tagged with the loss.

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