ORANGE, Calif. – The seniors of the Chapman University softball team celebrated the end of the regular season with an 8-0, 4-3 sweep of Redlands on Saturday. The Panthers clinched the No. 3 seed in net week's SCIAC Tournament, concluding the SCIAC season with an 18-10 record.
Game 1 – W, 8-0 (6 inns.)
Senior Emily Claudy was brilliant in the circle, shutting down Redlands lineup in the run-rule victory. She allowed just two hits and three walks while keeping the Bulldogs off the scoreboard in the seed-clinching victory. She retired nine batters in a row, starting with a double play, while the Panthers built a 3-0 lead between the second and the fifth. A five-run sixth clinched the victory.
Freshman Tracie Okumura, who smacked a triple and a double, doubled in a run in the sixth to get the game-clinching rally started. Sumida followed with a sacrifice fly and Runge singled in another run. Another senior Hope Ballard came through with an RBI single and later scored on an error to end the game.
All five seniors celebrated in the pre-game festivities of Senior Day impacted the scoreboard in game one with the four in the field driving in runs and Claudy keeping Redlands off it.
Five Panthers had multiple hit games with Whalen having a three-hit game to lead the 14-hit barrage.
Game 2 – W, 4-3
With the standings set for next week's postseason tournament, the Panthers were able to get every player on the bench in the game while pulling out the victory. Junior Michaela Foisy had three hits to lead the offense and freshman Ayanna Sanchez picked up the win in the circle.
Whalen and Runge played six of the nine positions throughout the game with Runge coming into the circle in relief for her first career appearance. She entered the circle with a runner on first but retired the next three batters in order on three pop ups.
The Panthers built an early lead and held on late with all of the changes. Foisy scored in the first inning from second base on a ball that never left the infield. The Redlands' third baseman knocked down a hard hit ball from freshman Allie Tajii with a diving attempt. With Foisy advancing to third, the shortstop picked up the deflected ball and flipped over to the bag. The throw was deflected past third and Foisy sprinted home, scoring when the catcher was called for obstruction.
Whalen singled in Tajii in the first and scored when a fly ball was dropped in left field. Sophomore Lagi Pakola made it 4-0 when she scored on a double steal with Foisy in the second.
The Panthers weren't able to scratch the scoreboard after that but were able to hold on for the win. Sanchez pitched five innings in total, tossing the first, second and third as well as the fifth and sixth after giving way to Runge in the fourth. She struck out four and limited Redlands to three runs on eight hits.
Freshman Kelly McCarty finished the game off in the seventh, ending Redlands' season on a comebacker with the tying run on third base. She picked up her first career save.
The Panthers head to next week's SCIAC Tournament and will play the second game of the tournament against second-seeded Pomona-Pitzer on Claremont-Mudd-Scripps' Athena Field.
By Steven Olveda
Sports Information Director