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  • 2006
  • April
  • Barnes Hits Walk-Off Home Run To Give Bearcats Come-From Behind Win Over Whitworth in Game One; Hale Breaks Single Season Record for Home Runs and RBI in Game Two Loss

Barnes Hits Walk-Off Home Run To Give Bearcats Come-From Behind Win Over Whitworth in Game One; Hale Breaks Single Season Record for Home Runs and RBI in Game Two Loss

SALEM, OR - Molly Barnes hit a walk-off three-run home run to win game one, 8-7, but a furious comeback in game two fell just short as the Willamette University softball team split a doubleheader with Whitworth University in Northwest Conference games Sunday afternoon at Willamette Field. the Priates won game two 8-6.

The weekend split leaves the Bearcats with a 17-12 record, 13-6 in the NWC. Whitworth is now 23-10 overall and 18-5 in the NWC. Linfield College won twice Sunday to overtake Whitworth at the top of the NWC standings.

The Bearcats fell behind 6-1 in the opener as the Pirates jumped on starter Nikki Franchi for six runs, including home runs by Heather Case, Jo Sonnett and Rachel Anderson. Meanwhile, Sonnet was mowing down the Bearcats, allowing only one run on Geneva Hale's RBI double through five innings.

All that changed in the sixth when the Bearcats reached Sonnet for four runs. LaShawna Holcomb and Marissa Richards opened the inning with back-to-back doubles to get the first run home. Barnes singled home Richards with the second run and the final two runs scored when Cari Schruth's grounder was booted by Whitworth.

Blair Cuny came in to pitch for the Bearcats, and allowed an RBI single by Sara Rylaarsdam to make the score 8-5, setting the stage for Barnes' sixth home run of the season.

Holcomb and Richards led off the seventh with singles before Barnes took Sonnet deep over the right field fence for the game-winning home run. It was Barnes' fifth home run of the season, tying her with Hale for the team lead and the Bearcat's single season record.

It also gave Barnes 29 RBI on the year, also breaking the previous single game season mark and again tying her with Hale for the team lead.

Hale broke the home run record in game two, hitting a two-run drive over the right center field fence as the Bearcats attempted another huge comeback.

Liz Gilgan led off the bottom of the first of game two with a home run, but a slew of six errors gave the Pirates an 8-1 lead.

Whitworth's Lindsey Davis hit a two-run home run off the glove of Holcomb, and Kristin Hanson and Jodi Schock each added a pair of RBI as the Pirates scored four times in the second and twice more in the third to open up a big lead.

Again, the Bearcats came back. In the bottom of the sixth, down 8-1, consecutive singles by Hale, Brittany Dearing and Marianne Ward loaded the bases. Bailey Harris knocked in one run with a RBI groundout. Schruth got a second run home with her groundout and Liz Gilgan doubled home the Bearcats third run.

In the seventh, Bares singled with one out and came home on Hale's record-breaking home run, giving her a total of six bombs and 31 RBI on the year. But after Ward walked and Harris singled, Sonnet ended the threat by inducing a ground ball out.

In between games, the Bearcats honored seniors Laura Milne and Brittany Dearing with plaques. Milne pitched 1.1 innings of scoreless ball in her last home game and Dearing was 3-7 wth two runs scored in the doubleheader.

The Bearcats play Pacific in make-up doubleheaders Tuesday and Wednesday night at Forest Grove before heading to Tacoma next weekend for games against PLU and UPS.