ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University softball team opened its season with a doubleheader split against Whitworth on Friday, taking the first game 8-5 and falling 9-1 in the nightcap. The Panthers (1-1) rallied for six runs in the sixth inning to take the season-opening victory.
Game 1 – W, 8-5
The Panthers offense stayed relatively quiet until the sixth inning when it erupted and cycled through the lineup. While the Panthers had runners in scoring position in every inning but the fifth, it wasn't until the third that they were able to get on the board.
Sophomore Michaela Foisy went 3-for-4 in the opener, scored twice and stole her first of three bases on the day. Foisy set the table in the third with a one-out double for Chapman to score its first runs of the year. A walk followed and freshman Jordyn Krohn smacked a hard line drive into left center for a base hit. Foisy scored easily from second but sophomore Sarah Sumida came in all the way from first base after the ball was booted in the gap, cutting the deficit in half to 4-2.
Whitworth had scored the first four runs of the game in the first two innings, including three in the first to take the lead. The Pirates (1-1) added another one in the sixth to go up 5-2. A couple of triples fueled both rallies.
In the sixth, a pair of walks sandwiched junior Sydney Engelhardt's single to load the bases with one out. After a strikeout, sophomore Christine LoVerde lined a single into center to score one and an errant throw brought in another. Foisy's hot shot down the line was knocked down to keep the runners frozen but reloaded the bases. Junior Elizabeth Runge came home to tie the game on Sumida's grounder to short that was misplayed, keeing the bases loaded.
Krohn rose to the occasion again. Her grounder up the middle was snagged in the circle, but not before the go-ahead run came sprinting home for a 6-5 lead. Sophomore Samantha Tong doubled in a pair of insurance runs before the inning ended.
Sophomore Sarah Hartmann settled in after being touched up for four runs in the first two innings. She retired 9-of-11 batters in the third, fourth and fifth innings to keep the Panthers in the game and set up the game-winning rally. She allowed nine hits and four earned runs over six innings to get the win. Junior Samantha Whalen came in to pitch the seventh and slammed the door in the seventh to pick up the save.
Game 2 – L, 1-9 (6 inns.)
Whitworth was able to pick up the run-rule victory in the nightcap and avenge the earlier loss. Chapman managed just three hits and a run off of starter Madelyn Carlson. She allowed two of those hits in the first as Sumida singled and later scored on the single from senior Sarah Taketa.
A couple of errors put the Panthers on base but they couldn't cash in the runners. Foisy singled in the fifth for her fourth hit of the day before promptly stealing second and third but was left there. With the three stolen bases in the twinbill, Foisy moved up to fourth all-time at Chapman with 33 career stolen bases.
The Pirates bats sounded off with three runs in the third and four in the fourth to go up 7-1. They plated two more runs in the sixth to get the run-rule win.
Chapman's early season action will break for three weeks as they wait until Feb. 17 to take on La Verne in a SCIAC doubleheader at El Camino, starting at noon. The alumni do return tomorrow for an 11 a.m. Alumni Game at El Camino.
By Steven Olveda
Sports Information Director