Softball erases early deficits to sweep doubleheader

Samantha Tong swings.
Samantha Tong (photo by Larry Newman)

ORANGE, Calif. – After going down in the top of the first in both games, the Chapman University softball team battled back to sweep a doubleheader from Western Connecticut State, 13-3 and 4-2, on Friday. Sophomore Samantha Tong drove in five runs and junior Elizabeth Runge went 4-for-5 over both games.

Game 1 – W, 13-3 (5 inns.)

The Colonials (1-9) went up early with three quick runs but the Panthers (10-8) quickly rebounded as they scored six in the bottom half and continued on with the rout with seven more in the second. Sophomore Christine LoVerde homered and tripled to bring in four runs.

Sophomore Sarah Hartmann tossed all five innings, settling in after a rough first. She allowed three runs on four hits in the first frame to hung up zeroes the rest of the way and limited the Colonials to just three hits over the final four innings to pick up the win. She retired the last seven batters she faced in order to close out the run-rule victory early.

Trailing 3-0, sophomore Michaela Foisy immediately put the Panthers in business as she bunted her way on, stole second and took third on a grounder to the right side. Senior Kristen Weiser squeezed in Foisy, who easily beat a toss to the plate, for the Panthers' first run.

After back-to-back singles loaded the bases, Weiser came home on a wild pitch to make it 3-2. A walk to sophomore Heaven Wong loaded them back up and Tong delivered a single up the middle to bring in two and give the Panthers the lead. LoVerde later smacked a two-out triple that short-hopped the left field fence to bring two more.

The Panthers immediately got after it again in the second with RBI singles from Runge and Wong. Tong stroked a triple into right center for two more RBIs and came home when a throw to the plate sailed to the backstop. LoVerde later smashed her two-run homer to put the Panthers up 13-3.

Hartmann sailed through the rest of the shortened game to seal the victory.

Game 2 – W, 4-2

The Colonials again jumped on top early with a run-scoring triple followed by an RBI ground out to go up 2-0. The Panthers took a bit longer to respond this time around as they stranded runners on second and third in the first inning.

Chapman threatened again in the second as Runge doubled with one out and moved up to third on a fly ball. She scored when Foisy legged out a single on a routine grounder to second – just beating the throw. Pinch runner Mallory Mathis and Foisy each scored when a grounder to short was booted into left field to extend the inning.

The Colonials threatened with a runner on third in the third and fourth but couldn't scratch out a run while Angelina Miller sat down 10 Panthers in a row to keep her team in the game. Freshman Lagi Pakola ended the third when she chased down a wild pitch and flipped it back to senior Sarah Taketa in time to retire the runner trying to take home. In the fourth, Taketa struck out a batter and nabbed a comebacker to leave the runner stranded on third.

Western Connecticut's Charline Plasczynski went from first to third on a bunt single to put the tying run on third again. However, sophomore Heaven Wong cleanly picked up a sharp grounder to third and made a perfect throw home to easily retire Plasczynski. Wong was there to end the inning a batter later with a routine ground ball.

Chapman added to its lead in the sixth when junior Hope Ballard doubled into the right center gap and later scored on Tong's sacrifice fly. Taketa allowed just a single in the seventh as she quickly shut down any hopes of a comeback to earn her third win in the circle.

Taketa went five shutout innings, allowing seven hits and striking out one.

The Panthers play their next four game on the road, starting with a doubleheader tomorrow at Redlands, but return home on Mar. 31 to take on Pomona-Pitzer at noon in a SCIAC doubleheader.


By Steven Olveda                                        
Sports Information Director

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