The softball team split victories in its doubleheader on Saturday with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.
In game one the tone was set in the second inning when Leos’ sophomore infielder Ashley Paul hit her first home run.
It was the sophomore’s first game after ending her basketball season two days previous.
“It was timely hitting, it was pretty awesome,” head coach Julie Smith said. “That I think ignited the team.”
Paul went 1-for-4 in the first game with two RBIs.
The Atheneas answered back with two runs, but it was not enough to stop senior outfielder Kari Granger as she stepped up to the plate with two strikes and hit a sixth inning home run which secured the Leopards’ 7-6 victory.
“It was a good battle. They had there best pitcher against us and we were hitting her well.” Granger said.
Granger filled the stat sheet in game one going 2-for-2 with two walks and two RBIs.
Delaney Baylor tallied the win for the Leopards, giving up two earned runs on five hits in four innings of pitching.
The Leopards were not so lucky in the second game as they lost, 6-4.
A pair of infielders provided most of the offense for the Atheneas.
Senior Jessica Vaughn went 3-for-4 with an RBI and run scored and sophomore Melissa Munoz went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored.
“We were struggling mentally, we weren’t focused,” Paul said.
“The difference was that we didn’t get our timely hits, we didn’t get many hits,” Smith said.
The Leopards registered four hits against junior pitcher Julia Cruz, who improved her record to 4-0.
Baylor took the ball for the Leopards for the second straight game, but took the loss that dropped her record to 7-4.
Baylor went 4 1/3 innings giving up nine hits and five earned runs.
Conference play continued the following day as the Leopards took one of two games against Whittier, another conference opponent.
La Verne took game one, 10-9, but fell in game two, 11-3.
The Leopards’ overall record is 9-8 with a 6-4 conference record.
Claremont is tied with Redlands for first place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference standings, with the Leopards holding on to the third place spot.
The softball team will travel to Arizona for the Tuscon Tournament through Sunday. Conference play resumes March 28.
Carmin Hermosillo can be reached at email@example.com.