Holcomb's Two Run Single Gives Bearcats 5-3 Win; Bearcats Sweep Doublheader Against George Fox

SALEM, OR - LaShawna Holcomb singled in two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and Blair Cuny, Brittney Tachara and Laura Milne combined to shut down George Fox as the Willamette University softball team defeated the Bruins 5-3 in game two to sweep a Northwest Conference doubleheader Tuesday afternoon at Willamette field.
The Bearcats, behind a six-hitter from Nikki Franchi and a four-run first inning, won game one of the afternoon doubleheader, 8-2. The Bearcats improve to 13-11 on the season and 9-5 in the NWC. George Fox falls to 1-25, 0-20 NWC.

In game two, with the score tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth, Marissa Richards led off with a double. Geneva Hale singled her to third and then stole second. After a groundout, Cirby Anthony had a bunt single to load the bases. The Bearcats took the lead when Cari Schruth was hit by a pitch, driving home Richards.

Holcomb (pictured above), who earlier in the day was named NWC Player of the Week, then laced a single to center field to drive home two more runs and the Bearcats had a 5-2 cushion. Holcomb was 3-3 with 3 RBI and two runs scored in game two.

The Bruins loaded the bases against Tachara in the seventh on an error and two walks. But Cuny came on to get a ground ball to second, a come-backer to the mound and a strikeout to end the game. It was Cuny's fourth consecutive save.

The Bearcats took a 1-0 lead in the first in game two when Molly Barnes doubled home Holcomb, who had walked. Meaghan Barr put the Bruins on top with a two-run home run in the third, but the Bearcats came right back to tie it in the bottom of the third on Holcomb's second home run of the season, setting the stage for the sixth inning rally.

Tachara got her second straight win in relief of Laura Milne. Milne went four innings and allowed two runs. Tachara allowed one hit and one run in two innings of work.

In game one, the Bearcats scored four times in the first. Liz Gilgan led off the bottom of the first with a walk. Richards doubled her home and after a Barnes single, Franchi was hit by a pitch. Hale then drove a double to left center, chasing home two more runs. The fourth run scored on Brittany Dearing's ground out to second.

The Bearcats added a run in the fourth when Bailey Harris singled and came around to score on Holcomb's grounder to short.

Willamette iced the game with three more in the sixth. Dearing, Harris and Schruth hit consecutive singles to load the bases. Gilgan singled home one run. Holcomb singled home another and Richards got the final run home with a sacrifice fly.

Franchi went seven innings, allowing six hits, two runs and striking out six.

The Bearcats travel to PLU Friday for a doubleheader and UPS Saturday for two more games.