Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
ORANGE, Calif. – The Whittier College softball team split its final non conference doubleheader with Chapman University Friday afternoon, falling short in a comeback attempt in a 4-3 game one loss before rebounding with a decisive 5-1 victory in game two.
Whittier now improves to 21-15, 11-11 SCIAC and looks to make the SCIAC Post Season Tournament for the third straight season as they hold onto the number four seed with a doubleheader against Occidental remaining in the regular season which is taking place tomorrow at Palmer Field with game times slated for 12pm and 2pm.
The fate of making the tournament rests in the hands of the Poets only needing a split in tomorrow's series with the Tigers to earn the Post Season berth. Whittier owns the series against the Tigers 2-0 thus far this season earning 6-1 and 13-3 victories back on March 24.
Game 1 (L, 4-3)
Chapman jumped on the scoreboard first with three runs in the second behind a Calix triple that cleared the bases. But Whittier answered right back in the top half of the third with three runs of their own sparked by back to back singles from Emi Shimamoto and Courtney Grana. After Denisse Martinez loaded the bases with a hit by pitch Mickala Gonzales drew a base on balls that drove in a run followed immediately by a single from Samantha Mellano that brought in two.
But the tie would soon be short lived as the Panthers managed a run in their half of the inning behind a Javier single that drove in the go ahead run and eventual game winner.
Poet starter Courtney DeLano lasted 2.2 innings and surrendered four runs on seven hits in route to her eighth loss on the season and was relieved by Anna Cade who pitched three innings of scoreless ball to go with four strikeouts.
On the other side Oregel went a complete game giving up three runs on seven hits to go with five strikeouts earning herself her ninth win of the season.
Whittier was led on offense by Gonzales who finished 2-3 with an RBI, while Grana finished 1-4 with a run and an RBI.
Game 2 (W, 5-1)
Game two started off as a pitcher's duel with both starters allowing just one run over the first three innings until Panther starter Katie Terry allowed four runs in the fourth that opened the game up for the Poets.
Whittier got their first run of the game behind an Alexandra Flores double to left field that drove in Xzandra Miranda-Castro and then continued their offensive attack in the fourth behind a Grana single up the middle that drove in two followed by a wild pitch that scored Shimamoto from third.
This proved to be all they would need as junior Jessica Rosnack secured her eleventh win of the season pitching a complete game giving up one run (no earned) on six hits to go with three strikeouts. She shut down the Panther offense after the second inning allowing four hits over the next five innings of work with three of them coming in the sixth when they threatened to get back into the game.
Chapman opened the inning up with back to back singles and after a pop up and a fielder's choice Muniz singled to third base getting the bases loaded setting up a golden opportunity for the Panthers to chip back into the Poet lead but Rosnack buckled down and struck out Oregel to stop the Panther rally.
Grana led the Poet attack going 2-3 with two RBI's, while Flores finished 3-3 with a run scored and a run batted in.