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Leopards take SCIAC softball title

Pui Lok Choi
Staff Writer

The Leopards won three in a row on Saturday to win the 2010 Southern California Intercolleg­iate Athletic Conference post-season tournament in Claremont against the Redlands Bulldogs.

After losing 6-3 in the first game to the Redlands Bulldogs on Friday, the Leopards needed to win the next game to avoid elimination.

“We’ve been in this situation before and we know what we can do,” said junior pitcher Delaney Baylor.

The Leopards remained optimistic after losing the first game of the tournament and didn’t quit.

“We have to come out hard from now on and be passionate,” said sophomore outfielder Dee Dee Burns.

In the first game, the Leopards did not score until the sixth inning but scratched late in the contest.

“We didn’t have the offensive and defensive support we needed to win that game but we did show we can come back,” said head coach Julie Smith. “We’re fired up and ready for the challenge.

In Friday’s second game the Leopards came on and put up six runs on nine hits while shutting out the Whittier Poets. Burns led the offense with two hits and three RBIs while Britney Flores got the win, pitching a scoreless three innings.

The Leopards’ momentum continued on Saturday when Flores pitched a shutout against Claremont Mudd-Scripps. Offensively, Ashley Paul went 3-for-3 raising her average to .394 and Tara Allis had an RBI on two hits.

In the second game, the Leopards played Redlands again, a team that they have struggled against all season.

But in the last matchup of the year, and most important, the Leopards were able to get by the Bulldogs, 2-1.

At the plate, Burns was 1-for-3 with a solo home run and Baylor allowed one run on six hits while earning the win.

“Redlands is a really strong program and they’ve had our number all season.” Smith said. “We have to give them credit.”

In the decisive game against Redlands, Baylor pitched a shutout to lead the Leopards to a SCIAC tournament championship, winning 1-0. Baylor improved her season record to 15-9 with her two-hit gem. Her earned run average on the year is also tops for the Leopards at 2.71.

At the plate, Mandy Brenner went 2-for-3 with an RBI double, accounting for the Leopards’ lone run and RBI No. 21 on the year.

The Leopards now wait as they prepare for NCAA regionals beginning May 14.

Pui Lok Choi can be reached at pui.choi@laverne.edu.

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