Softball drops three of four conference games

The Chapman softball team returned to conference play April 1 and 2 when it traveled to Pomona-Pitzer Friday for a doubleheader and then hosted the University of La Verne Saturday in another doubleheader. The Panthers’ bats were never able to get going, as they scored just seven runs over the four games, losing three out of four.

“We definitely could have hit better,” said freshman infielder Elizabeth Runge. “We got people on base, but we were struggling trying to score. We just need to keep working hard and supporting each other.”

Chapman (9-13, 3-9) jumped out to an early 3-2 lead in its first game against Pomona-Pitzer (7-17, 4-8) but Pomona-Pitzer scored two runs in the fourth inning and two runs in the fifth inning to take the lead and secure a 6-4 victory.

Freshman pitcher Samantha Whalen got the start on the mound and went 4 1/3 innings, giving up nine hits and six runs while striking out two batters and walking one.

Senior catcher Lisa Perez hit her third home run of the season in the first game, and carried that momentum in the second game when she went 3-for-4 and drove in a run in the team’s only victory of the weekend, helping the Panthers to a 5-3 victory.

The Chapman bats went cold on Saturday against La Verne (17-9, 13-3). The Panthers managed just eight hits over the two games and failed to score a run, losing 10-0 and 8-0 in five innings in both games.

Senior pitcher Natalie Both pitched the first two innings of the first game and gave up just one hit and no runs, but was then replaced by Whalen, who struggled and gave up three hits and seven earned runs while retiring just one hitter. La Verne scored eight runs in that inning and coasted to the victory.

“We’ve come back from a nine run deficit two years ago against La Verne so I still thought we could come back and win it,” Perez said. “But it’s definitely hard to keep our heads up after a bad inning so I do think our spirits were a little low for the rest of the game.”

That momentum was then carried into the second game of the doubleheader where a two-run third inning and a six-run fourth inning put the game out of reach once again for the Panthers.

The losses dropped Chapman to seventh place out of eight teams in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Although there are 16 remaining conference games, Chapman currently finds itself on the outside looking in to the conference tournament which features the four top teams in the conference.

“Individually we are all really talented. We just need to find that spark to make it all come together,” Perez said.

Chapman plays University of Redlands next in a doubleheader April 9 at noon.

Head Coach Janet Lloyd declined to comment.

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