Despite earning a combined 14 runs, the Regals softball team was not able to add a game to the win column April 12. The Chapman University Panthers hung on in an extra inning battle and kept the momentum through the second game to sweep the Regals 2-0.
The first game of the doubleheader started off with the Regals knocking in 6 runs in just two innings.
Junior third baseman Kendall Marinesi, currently nationally ranked in home runs, knocked in the first run for the Regals with a double to right-center. The lone senior first baseman, Rachel Barker, earned an RBI with a single to centerfield, advancing Marinesi to third. Catherine Slabaugh, a junior second baseman, then finished off the bottom of the first inning with a single, bringing in Marinesi and giving them the 3-1 lead.
“I had a really strong day at the plate and felt like I was seeing the ball really well. We had some really big offensive hits and, sadly, things just didn’t go in our favor,” Slabaugh said.
In the top of the second, the Panthers brought their deficit to one, but again Barker and Slabaugh earned RBIs to give the Regals a comfortable lead. Barker singled to bring in one run and Slabaugh doubled to send three Regals across home plate for a 8-2 lead.
However, the Regals’ lead was cut short as Chapman started to bring in runs of their own. Junior pitcher Brittany Workman was unable to shut down the Panthers and was pulled after just 2.1 innings. Sophomore pitcher Meghan Henry was then brought in to finish out the third earning, but the Panthers were able to add 6 runs, tying the game 8-8.
Henry faced a total of 31 batters and kept the Regals within contention of breaking their losing streak.
In the bottom of the fifth, Barker earned her third RBI of the game. With the Regals up by one, junior shortstop Celeste Ekman singled to center field, giving them an insurance run with a score of 10-8.
The Panthers answered with a triple that brought in two runs to tie the game 10-10.
With the game heading into extra innings, Chapman took the lead with a sacrifice fly ball in the top of the eight. In the bottom of the inning, junior catcher Lexie Findley singled into left field where Ekman would come in as the tying run, bringing the score to 11-11.
First-year pitcher Sammy Edmonds started her two-inning pitch campaign in the ninth and was able to retire the side.
With the Regals unable to score in the tenth, Edmonds returned to the hill. With a Chapman single, double, bunt and another double, the Panthers earned 4 RBIs and took the lead 15-11.
The Regals failed to earn a hit the final two innings of the three hour and 15 minute game, keeping them at the bottom of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference standings.
In game two of the series, the Panthers quickly took the win with a final score 14-3 in just five innings.
Although the Regals were not able to get a win Friday, sophomore right fielder Marissa Alfaia said there are plenty of positives coming out of the 2019 season.
“We are down a lot of girls due to injury, so you do see more girls stepping up to fill in missing places and I think that’s a huge part of our season this year…I’ve also noticed a lot of our freshmen come in standing tall…That isn’t really common in freshmen so that’s a huge positive,” Alfaia said.
After Friday’s doubleheader, the Regals headed to Whittier College where they also lost the series with scores of 2-11 and 10-11.
Highlights for the Regals included Marinesi earning her tenth homerun, which now puts her at No. 3 in program history.
Alfaia said watching Marinesi become ranked and break records for her homeruns gives a huge energy boost to the entire team.
“I think it gives everyone that fire to go out there and be the best they can because when you work as hard as Kendall does, it shows how much can be accomplished,” Alfaia said.
The Regals will look to improve their 2-20 conference record with a doubleheader against the University of Redlands Bulldogs next Saturday, April 20 at 12 and 2 p.m.