Regals Split with Leopards, Earn First Victory of the Year

Tinsley drives in five RBIs as CLU split with ULV

Katelyn Downing pitched two scoreless innings in game two earn her first victory of the year.

Photo: Tracy Maple

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. --  Playing each other for the second time in three days, Cal Lutheran went up against La Verne Monday at Hutton Field, falling in the first game of the doubleheader 5-3 before earning its first win of the year in the nightcap, defeating the Leopards 5-3. Catcher Shannon Tinsley led the way collecting five RBIs in the two games including a two-run homerun in game two.

The Regals got a strong start in game one from pitcher Katelyn Downing as she scattered five hits and allowed just one run through the first five innings.

Trailing by one in the bottom of the fourth, Christina Hunter led off with a base hit up the middle. Kelly Lockwood followed that with a triple that rolled to the right field warning track and allowed Hunter to come home, knotting the score at one.

La Verne would break through in the top of the sixth when Raven Freret reached on an error to start the inning. Katherine Kibbe gave the Leopards the lead for good in the next at-bat, hitting a no-doubter over the right field wall for a two-run home run.

Cal Lutheran would make things interesting the bottom of the seventh when CLU got two straight singles from Taylor Beachem and Downing to lead off the inning. After La Verne got two outs, Tinsley smashed a two-run double to the right center gap and pulled the Regals to within two at 5-3. Blake Lewis followed that with a line-drive destined to be base hit before La Verne shortstop Dani Vela made a leaping catch for the final out of the game.

Downing (0-1) took the hard-luck complete game loss while Kibbe improved her overall record to 3-0, pitching all six innings.

Cal Lutheran jumped in front in the bottom of the first inning of game two after Kayla Sakamoto reached on an error and Tinsley hit a moon-shot homerun, giving CLU the 2-1 lead.

Starting pitcher Shonna Christianson helped her own cause offensively in the bottom of the second when she ripped a triple into the right-center field gap and scored Liz Mertel.

Christianson then threw two shut-out innings before Kibbe connected on her second two-run homerun of the day in the top of the fifth, pulling La Verne even at 3-3.

The Regals used two walks and Mertel’s second hit of the game to load the bases in the bottom of the sixth. Danika Green then pinch-hit for Sakamoto and fouled off two pitches before La Verne pitcher Rebecca Ho threw a ball to make it a full-count. On the pay-off pitch, Green laid off an outside fastball and earned the game-winning walk, driving in Beachem for the go-ahead run. Tinsley would work a walk during the next at-bat, giving CLU an insurance run and pushing its lead to 5-3.

Downing (1-1), who came on in relief in the sixth, retired the side in order in the seventh to secure the first win of the year for CLU.

Despite striking out 10 batters, Ho took the loss after giving up six walks and surrendering two runs.

Tinsley was 1-for-3 with three RBIs to lead CLU in game two while Mertel was 2-for-2.

Kibbe led La Verne by going 2-for-4 at the plate with the two-run homerun.

Cal Lutheran (1-7, 1-5 SCIAC) is back in action Saturday, Feb. 23, when they host Claremont-Mudd-Scripps for a doubleheader starting at noon.

Shonna Christianson and Shannon Tinsley Post-Game Interview

Game 1: ULV 5 CLU 3
Game 2: CLU 5 ULV 3