The University of La Verne softball came oh-so-close to a doubleheader sweep of Pomona-Pitzer, earning a 5-3 win in the opener but watched the Sagehens rally for three runs in the top of the seventh to prevail 3-2 in the second game for a doubleheader split Sunday afternoon at Wheeler Park.
In the opener, La Verne trailed early but would get a run in the bottom of the first and add two runs each in the fourth and fifth innings for the victory.
In the top of the first, Shannon Julius had the key hit for the Sagehens with a two-run single to stake the Sagehens to a 3-0 lead,
In the bottom of the first, Tara Allis started a two-out rally with a single to right field and advanced to second on a walk to Raven Freret. Jackie Duran followed and smacked an RBI double to left to score Allis to slice the deficit to 3-1.
In the fifth, Amanda Hastings led off with a walk, setting the stage for Tara Allis, who delivered the game-winner with a two-run homer over the left field fence.
Allis, Burns and Nunez each went 2-for-3 at the plate with Allis collecting two runs and a pair of RBI. Laura Olson earned a complete-game win for the Leos as she held the Sagehens scoreless over the final six innings to record her 12th victory of the season.
In the second game, the Leopards got on the board in the bottom of the third when Nunez led off with a single, and scored on a two-out triple from Burns to go ahead 1-0.
The Leos added a run in the fifth when Schiveley led off with a single to left field, advanced to second on a Sagehen throwing error and reached third on a single from Nunez. Brianna De La Rosa drove in Schiveley with an RBI ground out to put the Leopards on top 2-0.
La Verne maintained the shutout until the seventh. Pomona-Pitzer's Leah Bleichner delivered with an RBI single to right field to bring home the first run. With two out, Emily Glass reached on an infield single to load the bases. Caitlyn Hines, who was 4-for-4 on the game, followed and belted a two-run double in the top of the seventh to cap off a three-run rally.
Pitcher Fiona Riley got the win for the Hens with a complete-game five-hitter. Leopard starting pitcher Rebecca Ho struck out nine batters and yielded four hits in five innings of work in holding the Sagehens scoreless.
The Sagehen victory clinches a SCIAC Postseason Tournament berth as the squad improves to 19-16 overall and 12-8 in the conference.
La Verne (17-17, 9-13 SCIAC) sits in fifth place in the conference standings entering the final weekend of regular season play. The Leopards travel to Eagle Rock to face Occidental College on Friday in a doubleheader beginning at 2:00 pm.