Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – Junior outfielder Kacey Whitney (Cypress, Calif.) created fireworks at Palmer Field Friday as she secured the sweep over top ranked La Verne with a walk off two-run homerun in game two of the doubleheader.
This allowed the Whittier College Softball team to come away with the 12-2 and 4-3 victories on the day as they clinched the No. 3 seed in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Post Season tournament.
The Purple & Gold have now won six of their last seven as they improve to 19-19, 15-11 SCIAC.
Prior to the game, Whittier recognized their four seniors, which included Samantha Blum (San Jose, Calif.), Megan Troutman (Covina, Calif.), Kalei Guillermo (Aiea, HI), and Lauren Gandi (Costa Mesa, Calif.).
Game 1 (W, 12-2; 5 Innings)
The first game was a quick one as the Poets got after Leopard ace Elisa Ponce. They put together a two-out rally in the first with Brianna Alvarez (Montebello, Calif.) coming in on a passed ball, while Kaitlyn Garza (Chino, Calif.) singled in Whitney.
But the big inning came in the 2nd as Whittier put up a four spot on three hits thanks to a single from Sierra Rodriguez (Whittier, Calif.), Natalia Sanchez (Chino Hills, Calif.) getting hit by a pitch, and Garza doubling to right center.
This opened the game up but it would be cut to four in the bottom half of the frame as ULV would get two back.
But those would be the only runs put together for the Leopards as Whittier would answer the very next inning with another five runs capped off with a three run blast from Marialena Ahern (Fremont, Calif.).
This would put the game out of reach, but they weren't done there as senior Troutman would come in as a pinch hitter and porch one to left center for an insurance run.
The Poets only gathered eight hits against Ponce with Alvarez going 2-3 scoring three times. Garza was 2-3 with three runs batted in, Rodriguez was 1-2 coming across twice and driving in a couple, while Ahern was 1-3 with a run scored and three RBI's.
Blum threw lights out picking up her 11th win on the season going a complete game giving up two runs on five hits.
Game 2 (W, 4-3)
History was made in game two of the doubleheader with Alvarez breaking the Whittier College Softball career stolen base record in just one season as she stole two bases that put her over the mark at 43.
Whittier kept their bats going as they brought across two in the first inning off the bat of Whitney who drove in Alvarez with a sacrifice fly. Ahern then came up and doubled to left center that moved the score to 2-0.
La Verne though would come back in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th bringing across a run in each inning to go in front 3-2. After a scoreless 6th, the game came down to the final at bats for the Poets.
Alvarez led off the inning with a groundout. Rodriguez then stepped in and drew a walk and Whitney would follow with her first walk off two-run shot of her career that secured the come from behind victory.
Whittier again held the advantage on hits with nine. Whitney finished 2-3 with a run scored and three runs batted in. Alvarez was 2-3 with a run scored and Ahern and Sanchez each recorded a hit on the afternoon.
Annika Seedborg (Hawaiian Gardens, Calif.) threw a complete game but picked up the win giving up two earned runs on eight hits, while striking out three.
Whittier wraps up their regular season schedule, today, Saturday, April 29 as they travel into Los Angeles, Calif. to take on Occidental College. Game times set for 12:00pm and 2:00pm.