Willamette defeats George Fox, 7-2, 5-2

SALEM, Ore. — Northwest Conference play got started off on the wrong field and the wrong foot for the George Fox University softball team as the Bruins dropped a doubleheader to the Willamette University Bearcats, 7-2 and 5-2, here at Bearcats Field Saturday afternoon.

George Fox played as the home team in the two games because the twinbill was originally scheduled for Newberg, but wet conditions and a lack of drainage on the Bruins’ Morse Field caused the games to be switched to Salem.

In the opener, Willamette’s Teren Edgecomb (2-0) allowed only an infield single to the Bruins’ Kim Backhaus through the first six innings. The Bruins broke through to score a pair of runs in the 7th on a two-run single by Talle Anne Malmstrom to score Kayla Winkler and Cassie Halvorson, the latter run unearned, but it was too little, too late for the Bruins.

The Bearcats scored twice in the opening inning to pin the loss on Bruin starter Winkler (0-2), both scoring on a bases-loaded Bruin error by Backhaus at short. Kim Boscaccio scored Marcie Hagen with a ground out in the 3rd and Lindsay Braun homered to straight-away center in the 4th to make it 4-0. The Bearcats salted the game away with three runs in the 5th, Braun and Meredith Runyan drawing bases-loaded walks and Molly Barnes hitting a sacrifice fly.

In the nightcap, Britteny Dearing (1-0) got the win in her first start of the season by shutting out the Bruins through the first four innings. After reliever Nicole Romero gave up a two-run double to Katie Plumb in the 6th that scored Larae Guillory and Backhaus and cut a Willamette lead to 5-2, Edgecomb came on in the 7th to throw a 1-2-3 inning and nail down the save.

A RBI fielder’s choice and a single by Barnes produced two runs in the 3rd for Willamette off George Fox starter Lacey Wade (0-2). The Bearcats added two more in the 4th on a grounder by Jen Hammond and a wild pitch, and Dearing singled home Barnes for a final Willamette run in the 5th.

George Fox is now 0-4 on the young season and 0-2 in conference play, while Willamette is now 4-0 overall and in the league.

The Bruins and Bearcats square off again in an NWC twinbill Sunday at 12:00 noon, again in Salem, but this time with Willamette as the host team.