Redlands Softball Drops Two to Chapman in Tough Outing

The University of Redlands softball team took on the Panthers of Chapman University in a Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) doubleheader on Friday afternoon at the Field of Dreams.  Despite a three-run push in the seventh inning of the opener, the Bulldogs fell short by a score of 6-10.  The team struggled to string hits together in the nightcap, resulting in a 0-6 loss.

During the first game, Redlands answered an early score by the visitors when sophomore pitcher Mika Imoto (Vista, CA) blasted an RBI-double down the right-field line to plate senior center fielder Amanda Ang (Santa Cruz, CA) from second. 

After Chapman scored twice in the top of the second, the Bulldogs responded with one run in the bottom of the third to make it 2-3.  Sophomore right fielder Jennifer Ng (Pleasanton, CA) set the tone with a sweet, lead-off double to right center, before senior left fielder Marissa Romero (Manteca, CA) moved her over on a bunt.  Ang stepped up with a deep, sacrifice fly that allowed Ng to cross home plate with ease.

The teams traded single runs in the fourth, with junior catcher Olivia Vierra (Burlingame, CA) blasted a single to left center, which plated junior second baseman Shannon Skrzynski (Pomona, CA) from second. 

Unfortunately for the home team, the Panthers put up a crooked number in the top of the fifth to extend their lead to 10-3.

However, the Bulldogs battled in the bottom of the seventh to score three runs on three hits and an error.  With runners on first and second, senior third baseman Summer Smith (Redlands, CA) notched a single down the left-field line for one RBI.  Imoto stayed hot by knocking a double to plate Smith and junior shortstop Ursyla Baumgarten (Penngrove, CA).  But the rally ended there, as the Panthers forced a pair of groundouts.

Senior pitcher Casey Maltz (San Jose, CA) threw 2.1 innings of solid ball late in the game by dispersing three hits, allowing no runs, and striking out four. 

The Maroon and Gray held Chapman scoreless through two innings in the second game, but the Panthers eventually put up six runs to seal the deal.  The Redlands bats mustered five hits in the game but to no avail.  Junior first baseman Tawney Lilley (Alta Loma, CA) stepped up with a 2-for-3 showing, while Baumgarten, Smith, and Imoto each notched a base-knock. 

The Bulldogs' best scoring opportunity came in the bottom of the third when Lilley led off with a single and moved to third on an error by the Panther defense.  But Chapman's pitcher forced three outs over the next three batters to get out of the inning.

Redlands (14-24, 10-16 SCIAC) heads to the University of La Verne for the final conference doubleheader of the regular season on Saturday, April 29.  The first pitch is set for 12 noon.