Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
LA VERNE, Calif. – The Whittier College Softball teams quest for a berth into the NCAA Division III National Championships ended Saturday in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Post Season Tournament.
The Purple & Gold were facing a win or go home scenario but were unable to come away with the advancement as the host University of La Verne held on for the 3-2 victory.
Whittier ends their 2018 campaign 25-16-1, 18-10 SCIAC and finish No. 2 in the final SCIAC Standings.
The game came down to a controversial call in the top half of the 6th. Whittier had the game-tying run on third base with one out and following a fly-ball to deep left, the runner would tag up and come home. But after an appeal by La Verne Head Coach Julie Smith for the runner leaving early, the appeal was granted and the call was reversed ending the Poets threat.
La Verne received some luck in the bottom half of the first. With two outs and a runner on first, Borden sent a pop-fly to shallow right center, which should have been caught. But two Poets collided allowing the ball to drop and the runner to come all the way around to score. The very next batter, Navarro would keep the inning alive going deep driving in another two putting WC in an early hole.
In the 5th, Whittier got on the scoreboard thanks to pinch-hitter Megan Heal (San Jose, Calif.) who went dead center with a two-run shot that cut the deficit to one. But those would be the only runs that were able to come across as the Leos would hold on for the victory.
Amanda Melodia (Placentia, Calif.) was charged with the loss going 3.0 innings giving up those three runs in the first. Whittier added five hits on the afternoon with Heal going 1-1 with that pinch-hit homerun driving in two and scoring. Hannah Angileri (San Jose, Calif.) came up with another pinch-hit single and Hayley Wishner (Chino, Calif.) would come across to score, while going 1-3.