The Chapman softball team split a pair of double-headers on back-to-back days against Pomona-Pitzer and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
Chapman (18-14, 11-9) traveled to Pomona (6-25, 3-15) Friday and picked up a 7-0 victory in the first game before falling 6-4 in the second game. The Panthers then hosted Claremont (17-10, 12-6) Saturday, and this time the lost the first game 8-0, but quickly bounced back with a 3-2 victory in the second game.
“Our defense is consistently strong, and I think that’s what helped us win this weekend,” said freshman outfielder Severina Worthington.
The first game against Pomona was highlighted by junior pitcher Cassie Oregel. Oregel threw a three-hit shutout, striking out six. The win was Oregel’s 11th on the season, giving her an 11-5 record, to go along with a 1.96 earned run average (ERA), fifth in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC).
Junior infielder Taylor Cartwright picked up two hits and two RBIs in the victory. Cartwright said that when the team plays the way it did in the first game of the double-header, it’s unstoppable.
“We combined all aspects of our team including pitching, hitting, fielding, and positive attitude,” Cartwright said. “We just need to improve on our consistency.”
Cartwright homered in game two of the doubleheader, but Chapman wasn’t able to the sweep Pomona, suffering a defensive lapse and committing three errors.
Chapman turned around quickly and hosted second-place Claremont the next day. Claremont came out hot, scoring five runs in the first inning on three hits and three walks off Oregel. The SCIAC runs rule came into effect, ending the game after five innings and sealing the 8-0 victory for Claremont.
Junior pitcher Hayley Schultz threw a complete game shutout, moving the Claremont’s ace’s record to 10-2 with a 0.89 ERA. The Panthers managed just three hits off of Schultz.
Chapman bounced back in game two behind the arm of sophomore pitcher Natalie Both, who threw a complete game, giving up no earned runs. Both, who has been a tough-luck pitcher this year, has a record of 7-9 despite a low 1.69 ERA.
“I was angry about my performance in our loss yesterday, so I just came out more focused today,” Both said.
It looked as if the Panthers were going to suffer another loss, heading into the seventh and final inning down 2-0, but Chapman was able to put a rally together, capped off by Worthington’s walk-off squeeze play (where the runner on third sprints towards home plate as the ball is thrown, expecting a bunt to be laid down), scoring junior infielder Mindy Gibson to seal the victory.
“I got the squeeze sign on the third pitch of my at-bat,” Worthington said. “I knew that I had to get the bunt down no matter what. Getting that down was a great end to the day, especially after losing the first game.”
The two wins on the weekend were good enough to keep Chapman in fifth place in the SCIAC, just one game behind Whittier, with eight games remaining in the regular season. Chapman will travel to La Verne on Friday, April 11 for a doubleheader that begins at 2 p.m.
“I expect us to keep playing our best and take it one game at a time for the remainder of the season,” Both said.