Softball suffers tough sweep despite hot bats against No. 13 CMS

Samantha Tong awaits a pitch.
Samantha Tong (photo by Larry Newman)

ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University softball team dropped both games of a doubleheader to No. 13 Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, 12-7 and 7-4. The Panthers swept both games on Friday at La Verne to remain at .500 in the SCIAC with a record of 7-7. Junior Samantha Tong had four hits in the doubleheader.

Game 1 – L, 12-7

The Panthers built an early lead and peppered the field with 16 hits but couldn't hold off the nationally-ranked Athenas in the 12-7 loss. Chapman pounded six extra base hits, including three triples. Junior Michaela Foisy was 2-for-5 with a double and a triple while senior Samantha Whalen was 3-for-4 and a home run short of the cycle. Both drove in a run.

Freshman Mykala Tokunaga opened the scoring with a long triple off the fence in left field to score Whalen from first with two outs. After CMS tied the game in the second, Foisy drove in the go-ahead run with a triple to the right center gap. Junior Christine LoVerde singled in another run and Tokunaga followed later with a run-scoring single. Tokunaga was 3-for-5 in the game.

Senior Elizabeth Runge made it 5-1 in the third when she laid down a squeeze bunt to score Tong. The Athenas quickly erased the deficit and took the lead with a five-run fourth, highlighted by Megan Perron's three-run double to tie the game at 5-5. She scored the go-ahead run just a few pitches later on a single into left.

The Athenas went to Lexi Singh in the bullpen and Singh was able to hang up zeroes in the fourth, fifth and sixth. The Panthers had seven hits and did not strike out against Singh but weren't able to scratch the scoreboard until the seventh. The Athenas put up three insurance runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh to go into the final frame up 12-5.

LoVerde drove in another run and Whalen tripled in the second run of the seventh before Singh closed the book on game one.

Game 2 – L, 7-4

The Panthers again hung tough with the Athenas but couldn't overcome a late mistake that led to four CMS runs in the top of the seventh of a tied game.

Freshman Ayanna Sanchez held CMS to just three runs on four hits in the first six innings and nearly escaped a jam in the seventh. Sanchez struck out her eighth batter of the game for the third out with runners on first and third. However, her pitch sailed to the backstop. As CMS' Molly Spaniac scrambled for first on the dropped-third strike, the throw from the backstop sailed into right field and allowed the go-ahead run to cross the plate.

The Athenaas took full advantage of the extra opportunity, singling in another run and scoring a third on a passed ball. Whalen came in to pitch after a walk put runners on the corners and got the inning-ending groundout but not before another single brought another run across for a 7-3 lead.

The Panthers fought back in the bottom half when a pair of walks put two on with two outs. Tong stroked a single up the middle to score LoVerde from second. Runge hit a grounder to short and the fielder went for the force at third, but Tracie Okumura beat out the toss to third to load the bases and bring the go-ahead run to the plate. A chopper back up the middle was snagged by a hopping Lauren Richards in the circle to end the game.

Sanchez gave up just two earned runs and struck out eight with just one walk in 6.2 innings but took the loss. Richards pitched all seven innings with six strikeouts in the win for CMS.

Chapman is back home on Wednesday against Cal Lutheran with the first pitch at 2 p.m.

 

By Steven Olveda
Sports Information Director

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