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Miranda Murphy (Photo by Larry Newman)
Miranda Murphy (Photo by Larry Newman)

Murphy walks it off in first-round win

REDLANDS, Calif — After being down 7-5 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning on Friday, May 6, the two seeded Chapman Panthers came from behind to defeat the third seed La Verne Leopards in the first round of the SCIAC tournament, 8-7, via a walk-off single from Miranda Murphy.

The Panthers were down 7-6 with a runner on first base with two outs in the seventh. Down to her final strike, Grace Fosselman ripped a single up the middle keeping the Panthers alive and moving Samantha Kennedy over to second. The following hitter, Allie Tajii, worked the count to 2-2 before sneaking a single through the left side easily scoring Kennedy and moving Fosselman to third.

Murphy followed Tajii and rather than working the count to get her pitch, the freshman was first pitch swinging, and sent a line drive into left center scoring the game-winning run in Fosselman.

It was a back-and-forth contest throughout the whole game with there being five lead changes throughout the game. 

La Verne got out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning, which the Panthers would match in the bottom of the second. After Annika Briski singled to lead off the inning, and eventually moved over to third on an error, Tracie Okumura bunted on a squeeze play, scoring Briski. 

The Leopards would add two more runs in the next frame, which Chapman would swiftly respond to in the bottom of the third, an RBI single from Julia Muniz driving in two evened the score at three. Chapman then took the lead in the bottom of the fourth when Fosselman smacked a two RBI single to center, scoring Okumura and Morgan Lastinger.

La Verne would score four consecutive runs from that point, and prior to the go-ahead seventh inning, Muniz hit another RBI single to bring the score to 7-6, ultimately helping the Panthers reach striking distance for the seventh inning.

Jillian Kelly got the start for the Panthers. She pitched 4.2 innings allowing three runs, all of them earned on four hits. Kelly pitched the first three innings before getting relieved by Simi Lauwers who pitched 2.1 innings. Kelly re-entered into the circle in the sixth, where she recorded five consecutive outs and no hits to end the game.

With the win, the Panthers will play in the winners bracket game tomorrow, Saturday, May 7, at 1:30 against the No. 4 seeded Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens, who topped the host Redlands 10-0. The game will be played at Redlands.


By Joe Perrino

Assistant SID / Recreation Sports Manager

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