Assistant Sports Editor
The softball team christened its new Campus West home by winning three of its last six games last weekend, facing Chapman, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and Arizona Christian.
The Leopards faced a tough doubleheader loss Friday against Chapman for its first game at the new field.
“It was an awesome win and felt that we rebounded phenomenally,” head coach Julie Smith said. “The loss to Chapman was very emotional, being on our field for the first time and wanting to win.”
La Verne lost to the Panthers, 9-8 in game one and 10-0 in five innings in game two.
“Dropping two games to Chapman was hard because we should have beat them,” sophomore first baseman Katherine Kibbe said. “I felt that since it was our first game on our new field that we were too anxious.”
The Leopards had a chance to rebound from their losses to Chapman.
La Verne earned a split against the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps Athenas winning the first game 2-1 before losing the second by a score of 11-4 Saturday at Campus West.
The Athenas scored early in the top of the first inning, as CMS sophomore infielder Tara Robinson sliced a hit down the left field line.
La Verne junior left fielder Katie Cunningham was unable to get the ball and Robinson scored, making the score 1-0.
The Leopards answered back in the bottom of the first.
Senior first baseman Raven Freret hit a solid double to left field. Kibbe followed with a single to center, allowing Freret to score and tying the game at 1-1.
“We played strong and I’m proud of the work we did on the field today,” Kibbe said.
La Verne sophomore right outfielder Mackenzie Dutton then followed with an RBI single, putting the Leopards in the lead, 2-1.
“The biggest challenge of today would have to be facing the Athenas pitcher,” junior outfielder BreeAnna De La Rosa said. “She is one of the most dominant pitchers in our conference and that was pretty hard.”
CMS junior pitcher Hayley Schultz has 62 strikeouts on the season and an earned run average of 1.12.
But La Verne freshman pitcher Hayley Jaquess held onto the 2-1 lead on the way to a complete game victory.
She gave up just one run and two hits.
“We could have scored more runs and hit a little better,” Kibbe said. “We were a little tight and just have to adjust that.”
“When our players are on base, we just need to work on moving them till they reach home,” Smith said. “Continue to work hard and timely hitting.”
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Athenas managed to get a quick lead with four runs in the first inning.
ULV freshman third baseman Amanda Chavez led the Leopards at the plate, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run in the losing effort.
Freret and sophomore shortstop Danielle Vela each had two hits.
The Athenas had a solid performance, adding six more runs in three innings.
The Leopards also beat Arizona Christian in another doubleheader Monday, 2-1 and 8-0.
Kibbe pitched a one-run complete game and Freret had a double in the fifth inning, giving La Verne the win in game one.
Sophomore pitcher Lyndsay Goodwin pitched for the Leopards in game two.
Freret led the Leopards with two hits.
The Leopards are now 8-12 in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and are 14-18 overall.
“Campus West is such an amazing field to play on,” De La Rosa said. “I’m really excited and happy to finally be playing on it.”
The Leopards play a doubleheader against Whittier starting at 2 p.m. Friday at Campus West.
“I couldn’t be happier to finally be playing on this beautiful field,” Smith said. “It has been almost seven years in the waiting and it has definitely been worth the wait.”
Jolene Nacapuy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.