Women show no mercy on softball diamond

Campus Times
March 23, 2001


by Matt Cresto
Staff Writer

The University of La Verne softball team came out swinging this past March 16, 17 and 18 in the 2001 Sun West Tournament in the city of Orange at Hart Park.

The Leopards wasted no time in tearing up their opponents by taking five of six games in three days.

In the first game of each day, the Leopards were so dominant that the mercy rule had to be taken into affect. They were wins over Albion College, 8-0, Plattsburg State, 12-0, and Colorado College, 9-1.

The Leopards were able to stay with a solid plan and finish off two of the three afternoon games by defeating College of St. Mary, 8-1, and Macalester College, 17-3.

The only loss came from the hands of Tufts University in the bottom of the seventh inning by a score of 5-4 in the final game of the week.

La Verne was led by the sister combination of senior Kadie and sophomore Mandy Tillema. The Tillema sisters have paired up as the battery for a 3-1 record this tournament.

Kadie is behind the dish and producing all-tournament numbers with .643 average, seven doubles, two homeruns and a slugging percentage of 1.107.

Mandy has produced elite numbers from the mound giving up only four earned runs in four games of the tournament. Mandy's tournament ERA is 1.31 combined with nine strikeouts.

Another key performer in the tournament for the Leopards was shortstop Gina Meza.

The talented sophomore has left the yard three times so far in the tournament. Meza is leading the team in runs scored and has a .423 average in the tournament.

The Leopards came out strong in their first game against Albion College. La Verne pounded out eight runs on 10 hits and a complete game shut out by Mandy Tillema.

The Leopards were sparked by Kadie Tillema's 3-3 performance with two RBI's and freshman designated hitter Brandi Thompson went 2-2 driving in three runs.

The second game of the day had the Leopards bounce out to a four run second inning. A two out, two run triple by Libby Ramos capped the inning.

Tillema went yard in the bottom half of the third inning adding another run to the Leopards totals. The Leopards finished their scoring in the sixth with a three run inning.

Meza highlighted the inning with a homerun, as La Verne went on to win by a score of 8-1 over the College of St. Mary.

"Our line up, one through nine is solid," said Ramos. "If someone is not hitting, then someone else will pick them up."

Saturday's first game was dominated by La Verne. The Leopards scored 12 runs in the first three innings, which was more than enough to bury Plattsburgh State.

Meza and Tillema homered and sophomore Jackie Russo went 2-3 and scored twice.

The Leopards got a complete shutout performance from sophomore pitcher Amanda Stutevoss for her first win of the year as the Leopards breezed to a 12-0 victory.

The second game of the day showed Macalester in striking distance of La Verne until the sixth inning. That is when the wheels fell off for Macalester as La Verne erupted for nine runs in the inning on five hits.

First baseman Kim Schrepfer tripled to right field bringing in three runs as the high point of the inning. Tillema was given the win while Stutevoss picked up the save in a 17-3 win.

The final day proved to be the toughest for La Verne splitting the double header.

La Verne jumped on top of Colorado College in the first inning. Leading the march was pitcher Robin Haaker who helped out her own cause by doubling to center and scoring on Meza's third homerun of the weekend.

The Leopards put together a five run fifth inning started by a lead off single by Ramos. Russo muscled up and hit a three run homerun to put the finishing touches on the win. Haaker earned her second win of the tournament with a complete game.

The Leopards battled in the final game of the weekend, but came up short.

La Verne was down 4-3 going into the final inning. Ramos reached on an error by Tufts shortstop, Jen Mackey, and advanced to second. Ramos went to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Haaker.

La Verne was unable to score any more that inning as they headed into the bottom half of the seventh tied.

Kasey Lindsey led off the inning for Tufts with a single to left and then was pinch run for by Maggie McClory. McClory scored on a game winning double by pinch hitter Julie Fox.

"We are really please with our performance over the weekend," said Ramos.

The tournament continued Wednesday, as the Leopards defeated Plattsburgh State, 12-4, and Macalester, 14-0.

ULV plays Whittier at noon on Saturday at at home.