Regals Conclude Season with Split
CLU splits with WC, falling 2-1 before winning 9-3
WHITTIER, Calif. -- The Cal Lutheran softball team closed out its 2013 season with a split against fellow Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) member Whittier Saturday afternoon. Katelyn Downing had a solid outing but the bats couldn’t get going as the Poets took game one 2-1. However, Blake Lewis and Kelly Lockwood both homered in game two and allowed CLU to salvage a split. Cal Lutheran finished the season 13-4 over its last 17 games to finish with its best overall record in three years.
After allowing an unearned run in the bottom of the first of game one, CLU responded in the top half of the second when Christina Hunter singled back up the middle and was later driven in on a sacrifice fly from Lockwood, knotting the teams up at 1-1.
Cal Lutheran had a scoring chance in the third inning when Brittany Labbe singled to lead off the inning and later Shonna Christianson doubled to put runners at second and third. Unfortunately for CLU, Whittier starting pitcher Jessica Rosnack was able to buckle down and get a foul-out for the final out of the inning, stranding the two runners.
Whittier got the eventual game-winning run in the bottom of the fifth after Alexandra Flores led off with a single, advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt, stole third and then came home on a sacrifice fly from Samantha Mellano.
The Regals tried to mount a last inning rally when they loaded the bases with no outs. Undeterred, Rosnack got three straight strikeouts to end the rally and secure the win for the Poets.
Downing (6-11) took the complete-game loss for the Regals, tossing 6.0 innings and allowing just two runs.
Labbe led CLU with three hits while Hunter chipped in with two.
Rosnack (9-5) went all 7.0 innings to earn the win for the Poets.
Mellano, who was 2-for-2 with both RBIs, was the leading hitter for Whittier.
Cal Lutheran showed poise and resolve in game two however, breaking through for six runs in the top of the third during game two. After Debben Hoffer led off with a single, Lockwood blasted a two-run homerun to put CLU up 2-0. Sakamoto followed with a single and Labbe reached on an error before Lewis drove both in on a single to left field. A batter later, Christianson had an RBI single of her own and then Hunter capped the inning with a sacrifice fly to put CLU up 6-0.
Whittier would get three runs back in the bottom of the inning but Lewis would blast her first career homerun in the top of the sixth to give CLU the 9-3 lead.
Lewis, (4-4) who came on in relief of Christianson in the bottom of the third, would close out the final five innings to earn the win.
The freshman, who was 3-for-4 with four RBIs in game two, has come on strong of late, batting .411 with nine RBIs over her last six games.
Sakamoto also had two hits in the win for the Regals while Shannon Tinsley reached base three times in her final appearance for the violet and gold.
Courtney DeLano (12-6) earned the loss in game two after getting touched up for nine runs on 10 hits in 6.0 innings of work.
Mellano again led Whittier offensively, notching three hits in game two.
Cal Lutheran (17-21, 12-16 SCIAC) concludes its season with 12 SCIAC victories, the most in 10 seasons. Whittier wraps up its season at 21-14 overall and 14-14 in the SCIAC. Redlands edged Claremont-Mudd-Scripps by one game to earn the regular season conference championship. Chapman finished third and La Verne came in fourth.