Barnes Leads Bearcats To Sweep Over Pioneers; Freshmen Franchi and Anthony Come Up Big In Late Inning Rally

SALEM, OR — Pinch-hitter Nikki Franchi drove home Cirbi Anthony with a base-hit, then scored the winning run on Molly Barnes’ two-RBI single as the Willamette University softball team came from behind to win the second game, 6-4, and sweep a Northwest Conference doubleheader from Lewis & Clark.

The Bearcats won game one 8-0 and are now 5-5 overall, 3-3 NWC. The Pioneers fall to 0-13, 0-6 NWC.


The Pioneers never trailed until the last of the sixth, and took a 4-3 lead in the top of the inning when Stephanie Lemon drove home Cristy Hatton. But the Bearcats came right back with three runs in the bottom of the sixth.

Anthony (pictured above) struck out, but reached on a passed ball. With Franchi pinch-hitting, Anthony stole second, then cruised home on Franchi’s RBI hit. After Cari Schruth sacrificed Franchi to second, Gilgan singled to set the stage for Barnes’ game winning hit.

Casey Jarzombeck-Clark pitched a scoreless seventh inning for the save. Blair Cuny picked up the win. Franchi got the win, pitching 5 1/3 innings and allowing four runs. Blair Cuny got the final two outs of the sixth inning.

Barnes was 3-4 with 3 RBI and a run scored to pace the Bearcats. Franchi was 3-3 with two RBI and a run scored.

Lemon was 2-3 with two RBI for the Pioneers, Nathalie Matson took the hard-luck loss, allowing five runs, none of them earned, in 4 2/3 inning of work.

Game 1:

Molly Barnes, Marissa Richards and Brittany Dearing each drove in two runs as the Bearcats won the first game against Lewis & Clark, 8-0.

Laura Milne and Blair Cuny combined on a four-hit shutout, each working three innings of scoreless ball.

The Bearcats jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. After Liz Gilgan walked, Barnes drove a double into the left field gap to drive home the first run. Barnes came around to score on Richards’ RBI single and the Bearcats had the early lead.

Willamette made it 3-0 in the second. Bailey Harris singled and came around to score on Cari Schruth’s RBI groundout.

The Bearcats iced the game with three runs in the fifth and two more in the sixth. Gilgan led off the fifth with a base hit and stole second. Geneva Hale singled before Marianne Ward drove home Gilgan with an RBI. Dearing doubled home two more runs for a 6-0 Bearcat lead.

Barnes and Richards drove home runs in the sixth to end the game early.

The Bearcats take the road, traveling to California March 25-28 for four games against the California schools. Saturday’s cancelled double-header against George Fox has yet to be rescheduled.

Cirbi Anthony

Cirbi Anthony