Freshman pitcher Natalie Both was an inning and a half away from pitching a perfect game in Chapman’s nonconference doubleheader victory against host Vanguard University Wednesday.
The 6-1 and 3-1 pair of wins pushes the Panthers’ winning streak to six games.
As a freshman in her first season for Chapman (6-0, 4-0), Both said while the level of competition is higher, she still approaches each game with a level head.
“I was feeling really good until they got one hit on me,” Both said. “It was a bunt over the third baseman’s head and I was pissed.”
Senior outfielder Kerry Peterson attributes the undefeated record to resilient pitching.
“Our pitchers were on fire today,” Peterson said.
Chapman split its doubleheader with Vanguard (6-7) for the past two seasons.. The Panthers dropped both games to the Lions in the 2009 and 2010 series. Despite the grim record, head coach Janet Lloyd said this year’s roster of seasoned players is the right mix.
“Today was definitely a test. I thought it would be closer, but I was pleasantly surprised. We haven’t swept Vanguard in a doubleheader for a long time,” Lloyd said.
The Panthers held a solid lead in both games from a strong line-up of Chapman hitters. But Both expects to see more aggressive pitching from fellow conference foes.
“The pitchers we’ve faced so far in the season have been pretty slow,” Both said.
Chapman will return home for SCIAC play in a doubleheader series against the University of La Verne Saturday at noon and 2 p.m. at El Camino Real Park. With merely one loss on the season, the Leopards pose a threat to the conference’s highest rank.
“It’s going to be a battle for the top spot,” Lloyd said