The last-place Chapman Panthers hosted Whittier College April 19 for a doubleheader, with a chance to earn a couple wins to get themselves out of the cellar. After losing the first game 9-2, the Panthers were able to put some runs on the board in the second, winning 7-1.
In the team’s previous four games before the 7-1 victory, Chapman (11-17, 5-13) scored just a combined eight runs.
“Basically we’ve had one or two hitters on (base) for a game lately, so we get them out there and not get them in, but yesterday in the second game we were able to get them in,” said Head Coach Janet Lloyd. “It was nice to see what the potential of our team has if we can figure out a way to put it all together.”
Senior pitcher Natalie Both pitched one of her best games of the season in the second game, giving up just six hits and one run while striking out two. After the first inning, Whittier (15-17, 7-13) was able to get just one runner in scoring position.
“She’s a senior and she’s injured and doing the best she can, basically just toughing it out,” Lloyd said. “She has a herniated disk so she probably shouldn’t be playing. But the last couple times she’s been great, but she’s just getting her stamina back. She’s keeping us in games. It will be nice to have her and Samantha Whalen back pitching well at the same time.”
Both was also aided by a 16-hit performance by her teammates, led by junior shortstop Amber Perez, who went 3-for-3 with a home run and a walk, and senior second baseman Larissa Rinauro and senior catcher Lisa Perez, who both had three hits a piece.
Chapman only had five hits in the first game, which limited it to only two runs.
While Chapman currently sits in last place of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, it is only one game behind fourth-place Whittier with 10 games remaining. The top four teams in the conference make the conference tournament.
The Panthers now travel to Whittier April 22 for another doubleheader, one that Lloyd sees as one of the team’s biggest of the year.
“It would be huge to sweep that doubleheader because it would throw us into the fourth-place spot,” she said. “We need to win games, that’s what I told my team. If we play good games and get a little help around us then I think we’re in a good spot. Who knows, maybe we’re peaking at the right time.”