Holcomb's Triple Leads Bearcats To Extra Inning Win and Sweep Over George Fox

NEWBERG, OR - LaShawna Holcomb tripled home Liz Gilgan with the winning run in the eighth inning as the Willamette University softball team beat George Fox 6-5 to sweep a Saturday doubleheader.
Willamette won the first game 9-6 as Brittany Dearing knocked in two runs.

George Fox scored three times in the bottom of the seventh to tie game two at 5-5. In the eighth, Gilgan reached base on an error. Holcomb then tripled to right center, driving home the eventual winning run.

After Laura Milne got the first out in the eighth, Blair Cuny came on in relief and got the final two outs. Milne went 7.1 innings, allowing seven hits and giving up four earned runs to raise her season record to 3-5. Cuny recorded her second save of the season.

Willamette jumped to an early lead as Gilgan and Holcomb led off with singles and executed a double steal. After Marissa Richards walked, Geneva Hale got home one run with a fielder's choice ground ball.

The Bearcats made it 3-0 in the second. Marianne Ward led off the inning with a double, went to third on a passed ball and scored on an illegal pitch. Cari Schruth reached on an error before Gilgan singled. Again, the Bearcats executed the double steal and Schruth came home on Holcomb's ground out to second.

After George fox came back with two runs in the third, the Bearcats got two key runs in the sixth. Bailey Harris led off the inning with a base hit. Schruth then bunted for a single and pinch runner Cirby Anthony went all the way to third, before scoring on an error by George Fox's catcher.

Gilgan's bunt single got Schruth to third and she scored on Holcomb's sacrifice fly.

The Bruins came back with three runs in the bottom of the seventh to send the game into extra innings, setting the stage for Holcomb's triple.

The first game was not quite as exciting as the Bearcats opened up a 9-3 lead, only to see the Bruins score three times in the seventh to narrow the margin.

Again the Bearcats struck first, scoring twice in the first inning. Gilgan led of the game with a walk, stole second and went to third on Holcomb's ground ball to second. Gilgan scored on a passed ball. Then Richards and Molly Barnes hit back-to-back doubles to right-center to give the Bearcats a 2-0 lead.

Willamette made it 5-0 with three runs in the fourth. Geneva Hale led off the inning with a base hit, then went to third on Brittany Dearing's base hit. After Anthony walked, Schruth drove home one run with a fielder's choice. Gilgan got the second run home when her grounder to second scored Anthony. Schruth scored the inning's third run on Holcomb's single to right.

In the sixth, the Bearcats tallied three more times. Hale drove home one Holcomb with the first run before Dearing's double knocked in Brittany Tachara and Marissa Richards.

Tachara got the win in relief of Nikki Franchi, raising her season record to 3-3. Cuny also got the save in game one, the first of her collegiate career.

Willamette is now 9-11 overall, 5-5 NWC. George Fox falls to 1-21, 0-16 NWC. The Bearcats travel to Portland Sunday for a doubleheader against Lewis & Clark.