LA VERNE, CA — The Leopards used smart base running and tough at-bats to pick up a pair of wins over the visiting Whitworth Pirates Saturday afternoon.
With the wins, the Leopards improve to 3-1 overall and get some momentum heading into their SCIAC opener.
Game One: La Verne 3, Whitworth 2
Katheryn Navarro was solid in the circle, and the Leopards used heads up baserunning early to beat the Pirates in the opener. Navarro earned the complete game win with five strikeouts.
In the bottom of the second inning with Justice Borden on third and Carly Condon on second, Rachel Ogata hit a hard grounder to the second baseman. The Pirates threw the ball home and Maddy Thomas ran down Borden, but Ogata stayed alert on the basepath, forcing a throw to second. Condon raced towards home as the throw was made and crossed the plate for the 1-0 advantage.
The Leopards faced a similar situation in the next inning this time with Sienna Kendricks at third, Gabriella Underwood at second, and Shelby Tevis at the plate. Tevis hit a shot to the shortstop and Kendricks was thrown out at the plate. Tevis made a heads up play and started running towards second base. As soon as the Pirates made the throw to second, Underwood charged home and beat the throw at the plate.
Later in the inning, Navarro hit a sacrifice to center to score Tevis which proved to be the difference maker.
Whitworth made the game interesting in the top of the seventh when Michelle Silva hit a two-run home run, but Navarro forced Sara Gayer to pop up to end the game.
Kendricks finished with a pair of hits and Underwood added a double. Melissa Garcia, Condon, Tevis, and Borden each added one hit apiece.
Game Two: La Verne 1, Whitworth 0
Jiana Rojo got out of jams several times and the Leopards used smart at-bats in the seventh to take game two. Rojo was outstanding in her outing, striking out six and walking just one with six hits to pick up the complete game win.
In the top of the fifth with bases loaded and only one out, Rojo forced back-to-back lineouts to keep the Pirates off the board. In the next inning, Whitworth again loaded the bases with one out, Rojo again got out of the inning unscathed forcing a pop out and ground out to third to end the inning.
Heading into the bottom of the seventh still in a 0-0 gridlock, Navarro led off with a double to get the Leopards in scoring position. Garcia drew a walk and Kayla Giannatasio was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Two batters later, Tevis was hit by a pitch sending pinch runner Ashley Soto home for the 1-0 win.
The Leopards open up SCIAC play on Saturday when they host the Cal Lutheran Regals in a doubleheader beginning at noon.Watch Live Follow ULV Athletics on Twitter Like us on Facebook Watch on Youtube Follow us on Instagram