Softball splits home games, prepares for series against No. 1 La Verne

Freshman second baseman Sarah Sumida squares up to bunt against Ithaca College. Sumida went two-for-three in Chapman’s 8-1 win March 16. Photo by Kaitlin Homan

The softball team split a non-conference series against Ithaca College, a team the Panthers have been evenly matched with in the past, Thursday March 16 on its home field at El Camino Real Park.

The score was 8-1 for both games, with the Panthers (10-8, 6-4) losing the first game and winning the second. Freshman second baseman Sarah Sumida led the Panthers in the second game, going two-for-three, as Chapman had 10 hits compared to Ithaca’s five.

“We were flat the first game, but we backed each other up and just made the plays the second game,” Sumida said. “It’s been a long week and we have a lot of games ahead of us, but we weren’t going to lose two games tonight.”

Chapman had six hits compared to Ithaca’s nine in the first game, and freshman infielder Samantha Tong scored the Panthers’ one run in the third inning, which was driven in by a double from junior infielder Kristen Weiser.

Freshman infielder Samantha Tong flies out to left field in the first game against Ithaca College. Her walk in the third inning led to the Panthers’ only run of the game. Photo by Kaitlin Homan

Ithaca (0-0, 4-4) carried the momentum in the first game, leading the Panthers 3-1 in the fourth inning and scoring four more runs in the top of the fifth. But the roles were reversed in the next game, as the Panthers started out with a run in the first inning, and earned five runs in the bottom of the fifth.

“Our energy was definitely up in the second game, and we didn’t make as many errors,” said freshman pitcher Sarah Hartmann. “We’re the type of team that isn’t here to get swept. If we lose the first game, we’re coming out to win the second.”

The Panthers’ five errors in the first game contributed to their loss, as four of Ithaca’s eight runs were unearned. The Panthers only had two errors in the following game.

“No one is upset after this (loss),” said freshman catcher Kyra Gallego. “We were really positive and loud the whole time. It was a good game.”

The Panthers face No. 1 University of La Verne at home Saturday, March 18. La Verne also led the conference leader during the regular season last year. Although the Panthers have not played La Verne this season, Chapman lost in all four of the teams’ matchups last year.

“We want a victory this year,” Gallego said. “La Verne is the top team right now and we could totally beat them this year. We’re ready to win.”

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