Barnes' Eighth Inning Home Run Gives Bearcats Sweep Over Pioneers

PORTLAND, OR - Four Bearcats hit home runs, including Molly Barnes' blast to win the second game in extra innings as the Willamette University softball team swept a double-header from Lewis & Clark Sunday afternoon in Portland, winning the first game 8-0 and the second 7-6 in extra innings.

The pair of victories gave the Bearcats an 11-11 record, 7-5 NWC as they swept four games over the weekend. The Pioneers fell to 4-21, 4-14 NWC.

For the second straight day the Bearcats gave up the lead in the late stages of the second game, this time allowing the Pioneers to score a run in the bottom of the seventh to send the game into extra innings. But Barnes, a two-time All-NWC player, led off the eighth inning with her second home run of the season to put the Bearcats up 7-6.

Blair Cuny pitched a scoreless eighth inning to pick up her third save in two days. Brittany Tachara got the victory, going seven strong innings and allowing four earned runs to go along with seven strikeouts.

In the first game, the Bearcats pounded three home runs to coast to the 8-0 victory. LaShawna Holcomb, who won Saturday's extra inning game with a triple to drive home the winning run, launched a solo home run in the first inning.

After Brittany Dearing scored in the second, Geneva Hale hit her second grand slam of the year in the third to put the Bearcats up 6-0. It was Hale's fifth home run of the season, tying her for the Bearcat all-time lead for home runs in a season.

Liz Gilgan got into the act in the sixth, blasting a two-run home run for the final margin.

Nikki Franchi pitched a complete game four-hitter to even her record at 3-3. She also went 2-3 at the plate with a run scored and an RBI.

In game two, Barnes was 3-4 with four RBI and a run scored. Holcomb was 3-4 with two runs scored and three RBI. Cari Schruth was 2-2 with a run scored as the Bearcats pounded out 11 hits.

The Bearcats are scheduled to make up the George Fox rain-out on Tuesday with a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m.