The Chapman softball team boosted its standing in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, first sweeping a doubleheader on the road Friday against University of La Verne, then coming home and sweeping first-place Redlands University in a doubleheader Saturday.
Chapman (22-14, 15-9) has won five straight games, catapulting the team from fifth to third in the SCIAC, where only the top four teams make the SCIAC tournament, with just four games remaining in the regular season before the conference tournament
“We have the momentum and we expect to with our final four games and the SCIAC tournament,” said sophomore outfielder Amy Serven.
The Panthers earned their first victory over La Verne (12-18, 8-12) by scoring six runs in the top of the seventh inning to cap off a 9-8 victory. Junior first baseman Lindsay Holt went three-for-four with two runs batted in and two runs scored. Serven added two hits and a run scored in the comeback win.
“We really stayed in that game until the very last out, and we played as a team,” Serven said. “Having trust in each other can really go a long way.”
Chapman then went on to beat La Verne in the second game by a score of 10-0 in five innings due to the SCIAC runs rule.
The Panthers had a quick turnaround as they hosted Redlands (24-9, 20-3) Saturday. Chapman was able to score a run in the bottom of the sixth inning to clinch a 2-1 victory.
Junior pitcher Cassie Oregel tossed a complete game, surrendering just the one run while striking out six. Oregel ranks third in the SCIAC with 13 wins, and second in strikeouts with 96.
In game two of the doubleheader, sophomore catcher Lisa Perez hit a walk-off double, scoring Serven to seal the 2-1 victory for the Panthers.
“I was struggling on offense today, but I had confidence in my last at-bat and hit the first pitch and luckily it dropped in,” Perez said.
Sophomore pitcher Natalie Both pitched a complete game, giving up one run and striking out eight. Both leads the SCIAC in strikeouts with 152 and ranks second with a 1.59 earned run average.
“Natalie is a great leader and a fierce competitor,” said head coach Janet Lloyd. “Her composure, perseverance and presence both on the mound and around the team are key and a great model for us all as we move forward.”
Chapman has a week off from games, before playing doubleheaders against La Verne and California Lutheran April 22 and 26 respectively. The Panthers trail second-place Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the standings by just one game, and are also one game ahead of fourth-place California Lutheran.