Cuny and Richards Lead Bearcats To Split With Whitworth; Doubleheader Slated for Sunday Beginning at Noon

SALEM, OR -Blair Cuny pitched five innings of scoreless relief and Marissa Richards drove in a pair of runs as the Willamette University softball team defeated Whitworth 6-1 to earn a split of Saturday's Northwest Conference doubleheader.

Whitworth, behind Jo Sonnet's three-run home run and four-hit pitching, won the first game 5-2. Whitworth is now 23-9 on the season, 18-4 NWC. The Bearcats are 16-12 overall, 12-6 NWC.

In game two, the Bearcats broke out with a three-run first inning. Richards drove home Liz Gilgan for the Bearcats' first run. She went to second on a single by Molly Barnes and came around to score on a throwing error. Bailey Harris knocked in Barnes to give the Bearcats a 3-0 lead.

Whitworth got one run back in the third. Starter Laura Milne, battling control problems, walked Heather Case. After a walk to Lindsey Davis, Cuny, tied for the Division III lead in saves, allowed a hit to Sarah Froman to drive home one run. But Cuny got out of further trouble with a strikeout and a ground-out to third.

The Bearcats came back with three more in the bottom of the sixth. Harris started the rally with a base hit to left center. After Cari Schruth sacrificed pinch runner Cirbi Anthony to second, Gilgan doubled home Anthony. Gilgan scored when the Pirates misplayed LaShawna Holcomb's ground ball and Richards drove home Holcomb with a double down the left field line to make it 6-1.

Gilgan was 2-3 with two runs scored and an RBI. Richards was 2-4 with two RBI and Harris added two hits and an RBI. Cuny got the win to raise her record to 2-0 to go along with five saves. She allowed seven hits in five innings of work, but struck out three and walked none.

In game one, the Pirates broke open a pitcher's duel between Sonnet and Brittney Tachara with a four-run third innings. After a close play at the plate where Case scored on Froman's two-out single, Jodi Schock walked and both scored on Sonnet's home run.

Willamette came back with single runs in the fourth and fifth innings. In the fourth, Geneva Hale's double drove home Richards. The RBI was Hale's 28th of the season, breaking the all-time single season record for the Bearcats.

Holcomb drove home Anthony in the fifth to make it 4-2, but that was as close as the Bearcats would get.

Whitworth added an insurance run on Case's home run leading off the seventh innings and Sonnet made it stand up for a 5-2 victory.

The two teams play a doubleheader Sunday afternoon beginning at noon.