WHITTIER, Calif. — The University of La Verne softball team swept the defending SCIAC champion Whittier behind explosive offense on Saturday afternoon at Palmer Field.
La Verne improves to 22-9 overall and 18-3 in SCIAC play. Whittier falls to 14-16 and 6-12.
Game 1: La Verne 9, Whittier 4
Katherine Kibbe allowed eight hits and two walks, but limited the damage to just two runs and picked up her 12th win of the season. She has earned the win in all of her last four appearances.
The Leopards got going early. Whittier starter Samantha Blum retired the first two batters of the game but Dutton and Alexis Schiff worked two consectuive walks to keep the inning going. Katherine Kibbe and Kendricks then made Blum pay with back-to-back singles to put the Leopards up, 2-0.
Raeleen Tellez and Rachel Ogata kept up the momentum rolling in the top of the second with consecutive singles to lead off. Carly Condon promptly follwed with a double to deep left and Ogata crossed the plate on a Dutton groundball to put the Leopards up 4-0.
Dutton pulled a bases-loaded single through the left side in the top of the fourth and Schiff scored on a fielder's choice to extend the lead to 8-0.
The Poets pulled two back in the fifth and two more in the seventh, but could not cash in enough opportunities to make it close. Whittier left 10 women on base.
Blum (7-7) was charged with the loss after giving up six runs in three innings.
Game 2: La Verne 10, Whittier 3
The Leopards exploded for 10 runs on 15 hits in the second game.
La Verne didn't waste any time getting going as Condon led off the game with a bunt single and Dutton smacked a double to open the scoring. Dutton crossed the plate later in the inning on a wild pitch to give the Leopards a 2-0 lead.
But Whittier seemed up to the task as Marialena Ahern launched a three-run home run in the bottom of the first and chased La Verne starter Hayley Jaquess without hitting into an out.
But Kibbe (13-4) -- who was penciled in as the designated player -- moved to the circle, slammed the door on the Poets and pitched an unconventional shutout to pick up her 13th win of the season. She scattered just four hits in seven innings, walked two and struck out seven.
And the offense backed her up as Dutton tied the game at 3-3 with a solo home run in the top of the third and Alexis Schiff cranked a grand slam in the fourth to break the game open.
Dutton and Schiff combined for four hits, four RBI and four runs in the game.
Condon led the Leopards with three hits.
The Leopards are back in action on Friday at Occidental.