?The La Verne softball team's road to a West Regional championship ended on Sunday, at the hands of Linfield, who defeated the Leopards 12-9 and 1-0 at Field Of Dreams Park on the campus of the University of Redlands.
After being pulled in the first inning of game one, Linfield pitcher Brittany Miller came back with vengeance and pitch a shutout against the Leopards high octane offense in the final game to win the West Region title and advance to Raleigh, N.C., for the NCAA Championships.
The game's only run came in the fourth inning when Linfield’s Shelly Steinke started the inning off with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly from Amanda Attleberger.
In the seventh inning with two outs, La Verne had one last chance for a comeback with runners on second and third but Miller’s domination continue as she recorded her 11th and final strikeout to close out the game.
The big bats of Jodi Lindsey, Kelly Silagyi, Amanda Jones and Morgan Dobis were held in check.
They combined for a horrible 0-12 at the plate.
The dynamite pitching duo of Jones and Mary Olson combined to allow only four hits and allow one run in the final game.
In the first game of the series, Linfield bats reigned supremely over La Verne, in a slugfest that ended in a Linfield victory.
La Verne led 3-0 on a Silagyi three-run homer in the first inning off Miller.
Miller could not get an out and was pulled in the first inning to prevent the Leopards from jumping off to a bigger lead.
Linfield brought in Kendra Straham, who manage to finish six runs on 10 hits.
“We didn’t play our game,” Silagyi said. Freshman Kelly Ince started the game but after allowing eight runs, she was pulled in just an inning of work.
Silagyi led all Leopards in hits and RBI, with three and four respectively.
Before getting to the West Regional championship game the Leopards defeated Chapman, Trinity and Redlands.
“We did very well in all our other games. It’s hard to go out this way,” Jones said.
Silagyi, Olson, Lindsay and Suzy Riker were voted on the All-Tournament team.
“This was a great year,” Riker said.
The Leopards finished the season with a 32-12 record, going 20-4 in Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and only losing games at home. The Leopards were second in SCIAC, finishing one game behind Redlands for the title.
Darnell Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.