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Miranda Murphy hits a fly ball.
Miranda Murphy (photo by Larry Newman)

Murphy does it again, softball advances to championship game

REDLANDS, Calif. – Miranda Murphy delivered in the clutch for the second day in a row to send the Chapman University softball team into the championship game of the SCIAC Postseason Tournament with a 6-4 victory over Pomona-Pitzer. The Panthers advanced through the winner's bracket with a an extra inning win – a day after walking off in the bottom of the seventh.

Simi Lauwers earned the victory in the seventh after a brilliant relief outing, allowing just one hit and struck out two over 3.1 innings.

The Panthers slowed down the hottest team in the tournament with the extra inning victory. Chapman never trailed in the game and fought off the Sagehens' comeback effort for the extra inning win.

Chapman continually put pressure on the Sagehens' defense when the Panthers put runners on the basepaths. Julia Muniz put Chapman up 2-0 with a successful squeeze in the third. After a home run in the bottom of the fourth cut the lead in half, Morgan Lastinger put down a another squeeze to score a run. She kept running to second, drawing a throw from the Sagehens and allowing pinch runner Katie Carder to sprint home for a 4-1 lead.

Jillian Kelly had cruised through the first few innings but ran into trouble in the fifth. Hannah Brahkovic capped the fifth-inning rally with a two-run, game-tying homer. Lauwers entered from the bullpen and shut down the rally.

In the eighth, Grace Fosselmen's fly ball into right was lost in the sun and fell in for a triple. Allie Tajii followed with a walk and continued on to second to put two in scoring position with no outs. Murphy sent a line drive into left center to score Fosselman and Tajii for the 6-4 lead.

Lauwers retired the Sagehens in order in the bottom half of the inning to advance the Panthers into the championship.

Chapman will take on the winner of this afternoon's Redlands-Pomona-Pitzer game tomorrow at noon with a trip to the NCAA Tournament on the line.


By Steven Olveda
Sports Information Director

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