Softball swept in 2019 opener

Elizabeth Runge makes contact with the pitch.
Elizabeth Runge (photo by Larry Newman)

ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University softball team suffered a pair of 8-0 defeats in its season-opening doubleheader against Whitworth on Sunday. Senior Elizabeth Runge had a pair of hits in the doubleheader.

Game 1 – L, 8-0 (5 inns.)

Whitworth put up multiple runs in each of the first three innings to establish a big lead. After a two-run first, the Panthers threatened in the bottom half. Junior Sarah Sumida drew a walk and Runge hit a scorching grounder down the first base line. Whitworth's first baseman was able to slow it down with the tip of her glove but didn't come up clean to put runners on the corners with one out.

Back-to-back grounders back to the pitcher ended the inning and kept Chapman off the board. Madelyn Carlson retired the next five batters in a row and did not allow another hit as the Pirates opened up a 7-0 lead.

A pair of freshmen made their Panther debuts in the circle. Jessica Kim and Kelly McCarty combined for three and two-thirds innings, allowing a pair of earned runs on four hits.

Game 2 – L, 8-0 (5 inns.)

The Panthers fell in another early hole and couldn't get the bats going on a cold night in La Verne. Sophomore Hope Ballard sent a grounder through the hole on the right side for her first hit of the season in the second inning but was stranded at first.

The Pirates put up another three runs in the first and one more in the second for an early 4-0 lead. They took advantage of some Panther miscues in the fourth for four runs to secure the run-rule victory.

Runge smacked her second single in the fourth to put two on with none out but was doubled up at first after a pop up bunt to end the threat. Sophomore Erin Coogan hit a single in the fifth but was stranded on second.

The Panthers open up SCIAC play next week with a trip to Redlands on Friday and will have their true home-opener on Saturday against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.