University of La Verne softball was scheduled for a doubleheader March 10 against the Whittier Poets.
However, because of weather conditions the first game was called after five innings and the second game was cancelled and rescheduled. Yet, the Leopards were able to earn their ninth win of the season and improve to 5-2 in SCIAC play.
Starter Mary Olson gave up only two hits in over five innings of work including five strikeouts and two walks while securing her fifth win of the season. Meanwhile, the Leopard offense was a bit stagnant throughout the game but finally got on track in the last inning of the game.
Following a single by second baseman Suzy Riker and lead off hitter Ashley Savage being hit by a pitch, senior Kelly Silagyi put La Verne on the board with her game winning three run homerun off Poets starter Valerie Ovienda.
“I went up to bat and we had to get runs on the board,” said Silagyi, a senior from Chino. “And I just did my best to help my team through that.”
Silagyi managed to finish the day going 2-2 at the plate as well as one walk along with her three RBIs on the day. After the bottom of the fifth, one more half inning was played until the game was called due to rain.
La Verne faced off against Fairleigh Dickinson of New Jersey as the Devils came into town for a double header at Wheeler Park.
Coach Robin Haacker-Durant gave the starting nod again to Olson and she answered the call with arguably her best performance of the year. The junior pitcher threw a complete game allowing only three hits and two walks while retiring 11 Devils batters in game one of the doubleheader.
“I think our pitchers did real well today,” said Ashley Savage, who had a solo home run in game one. “Everyone did something to help the team and get the win.”
Following the first run being blasted by Savage in the first, Riker doubled to get on base in the third inning and was driven home by Savage again for the Leopards to go ahead by two runs.
Offense then stagnated on both sides especially for Fairleigh Dickinson, who left only four batters on base throughout the duration of the game. La Verne fin?ished the game as the score indicated in the third inning winning the game one, 2-0.
In game two, ULV erupted in an offensive explosion in the first inning of the game scoring eight runs on eight hits and leaving only one runner on base. The entire order went through the inning getting on base and advancing the runners.
The Devils were unable to respond until the third inning when they scored their first run of the game. Yet, they were unable to stop the bleeding as the Leopards continued to exert themselves on offense.
La Verne finished the game with an outstanding 20 hits and only had two strike outs the entire game.
Lead off hitter Ashley Savage fueled the attack, as did second hitter Jessica DeGiacomo, who both finished the day going 2-4, with two RBIs each at the top of the order. In addition, senior outfielder Amanda Jones put the game out of reach in the third inning by blasting a shot over the left field fence with two on to extend the lead, 14-1. In addition, freshman starting pitcher Kelly Ince iced the game with her play and picked up the win for the Leopards while allowing only one earned run on seven hits through five innings of work.
The result of second game ended in a convincing fashion with La Verne winning 15-2 to sweep the visiting Devils.
“We just need to keep out intensity up for the next couple games,” said Olson, who earned her sixth win of the season. “Our offense and defense have been there and we just need to bring it all together.”
This team is full of potential and has the drive as well as the determination to move on and be a dominant factor in the SCIAC conference.
La Verne softball continues to roll on in conference play as they will play their make-up game against Whittier today at 3 p.m. After beating Pomona-Pitzer 18-7 and 11-0 in their last meeting, La Verne will host the Sagehens for another doubleheader with the first game starting tomorrow, March 17 at noon and 2:30p.m.
Galo Pesantes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.