Softball splits games as head coach reaches win No. 600

Freshman infielder Samantha Tong swings at University of Redlands sophomore pitcher Lindsey Mifsud’s pitch during the Panthers’ 8-4 loss to the Bulldogs March 3. Photo by Miles Furuichi

The softball team split both of its weekend series against the University of Redlands and Occidental College to end the weekend in fourth place.

After losing in extra innings against Redlands on Friday, the Panthers came back for a five-inning mercy rule win later that day, giving head coach Janet Lloyd her 600th career win, which is the most in Chapman history according to Chapman Athletics.

In the first game of the weekend on March 3, the Panthers (7-5, 5-3) found themselves tied with the Bulldogs (3-9, 1-5) with four runs apiece after seven innings. The game went into extra innings until Redlands scored four in the top of the tenth to record an 8-4 victory.

Despite this loss, the Panthers came back in the evening game to defeat the Bulldogs 14-6.

“I think the determining factor was probably hitting, because both teams were doing well on defense,” said junior infielder Kristen Weiser. “I feel like (when we split series), it puts us at sort of a stalemate because our (winning percentage) just stays right where it is. We know we’re better than splitting every series, and we’re working hard to turn them into more sweeps.”

In three at-bats, sophomore outfielder Sydney Engelhardt recorded three runs, three hits and three runs batted in.

Following their Friday win, the Panthers came out on Saturday and took the lead against Occidental in the second inning and kept the lead until the end to win 6-3 over the Tigers (3-11, 1-5).

However, the Panthers weren’t able to pull off the doubleheader, as they lost in a close game that ended 4-3. Despite coming back from a 2-0 deficit in the fourth inning to lead 3-2, the Panthers were unable to keep the lead. The Tigers scored two in the bottom of the seventh to take the walk-off win.

“Ideally, we’d like to win every game, but it’s early in the season and we’ll see all these teams again,” Engelhardt said. “I’m confident that this will be a driving force when we face them again. Big determining factors in these games are execution and momentum.”

The Panthers travel to third-place Whittier College on March 11 to play the Poets in a pair of games at noon and 2 p.m. Chapman will then host Ohio’s Denison University for two games at noon and 2 p.m. March 12.

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