Leopards rally in sixth, take game 1 from Redlands

Leopards rally in sixth, take game 1 from Redlands

LA VERNE, CA — The University of La Verne softball rallied for four runs in the sixth inning and beat the visiting Relands Bulldogs 6-4 in game one of their doubleheader. 

After trailing all game, the Bulldogs took their first lead of the day in the sixth inning when pinch hitter Ryanna Curtis connected with two outs to left field, scoring a pair of runners to give Redlands a 3-2 advantage. 

But the Leopards responded in the bottom half of the inning when pitcher Katheryn Navarro helped her own cause when she led off with a single to right field and took second off an error by the Redlands' right fielder. Sienna Kendricks stepped up next and hit a hard shot to left sending Navarro charging towards home. Navarro beat the throw at the plate to even the game 3-3.

The Leopards got a break and took the lead later in the inning when Kayla Giannatasio reached on an error by Redlands' first baseman Tyesen Gordon that allowed runners Rachel Ogata and pinch runner Toni Lozano to score. Justice Borden stepped up next and capitalized on the momentum hitting a perfectly placed line drive just inside the right field foul line, to bring in Giannatasio and extend La Verne's lead to 6-3.

Ogata and Gabriella Underwood each recorded two hits, an RBI, and a run. Kendricks added two hits.

Underwood got the Leopards on the board early, hitting a solo shot over the right-center fence to put her squad up 1-0 in the first inning. Nova Siegel evened the game in the third inning when she singled to shallow center, finding a spot just out of reach of a diving Carly Condon to score Hayley DiMase.

The Leopards jumped back on top in the fourth inning when Ogata came in clutch with a line drive to left center that rolled past DiMase sending pinch runner Tauney Mack barreling around third and to the plate, putting the score at 2-1.

The Bulldogs threatened the Leopards in the seventh loading the bases, but Redlands could only manage to send one runner across the plate.

Catcher Bailey Grani came through with a big defensive play in the top of the second when she threw out Desiree Moran at second base to end the inning.

Navarro struck out seven batters to claim her fourth win of the season. Mika Imoto took the loss for the Bulldogs.

Game Two: Redlands 4, La Verne 2

The Leopards scored a pair of runs in the first inning to tie Redlands 2-2 but couldn't respond to a Bulldogs late in the game, dropping game two.

Melissa Garcia led the Leopards with two hits including a single to left field that scored Navarro and Underwood.

Jiana Rojo pitched a complete game, striking out seven. Nicole Stanzione picked up the win for the Bulldogs

Season Impact

La Verne moves to 6-2 overall and 3-1 in conference play. The Bulldogs now sit at 4-4 overall and 2-2 in the SCIAC.

Next Game

The Leopards next head to Occidental to play the Tigers in a doubleheader on March 2 beginning at noon.

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