Barnes Ties School Record with Sixth Homer, but George Fox Defeats Bearcats, 7-4

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

NEWBERG, ORE. -- Willamette University senior third baseman Molly Barnes (Salem, OR/Sprague HS) tied a school record with her sixth home run of the season, but three George Fox University players hit one homer apiece, as the Bruins defeated the Bearcats, 7-4, in the first game of a Northwest Conference doubleheader at Morse Field. Rain forced the second game to be suspended with Willamette leading 4-3 in the bottom of the second inning.

The win in Game #1 allowed George Fox to improve its record to 6-25 overall, including 4-19 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 16-12 on the season, 10-9 in the NWC. The suspended game will be completed on Thursday, April 19 in Newberg, Ore., starting at 4 p.m. (PDT).

Kayla Winkler threw a complete game for the Bruins. She struck out eight batters and allowed five walks, while improving to 4-14 on the season. Leighann Auer (Fr., RHP, Independence, OR/Central HS) dropped to 4-5 with the loss. Auer threw the first five inning and gave up five runs (three earned) on five hits and four walks.

Ashley Olson, Kayla Winkler and Katie Yoder each homered for George Fox. Olson's two-run homer in the fifth inning followed a dropped foul ball that would have ended her at bat. With another chance at the plate, she sent the ball over the left field fence to give GFU a 5-4 lead. The Bruins added two runs on a single by Nikki Morrison in the bottom of the sixth inning.

WU built a 2-0 lead in the first inning on three hits. Liz Gilgan (Jr., SS, Sherwood, OR/Sherwood HS) opened the game with a single, then scored on a double by Nicole Wallace (Fr., 2B/C, Roseville, CA/Roseville HS). Barnes hit a sacrifice bunt to move Wallace to third, leading to the second run when Nikki Franchi (So., DP/RHP, Los Gatos, CA/Saratoga HS) followed with a single to left field.

Yoder's home run in the third inning pulled the Bruins within 2-1. Winkler immediately followed with another homer, as the Bruins tied the game, 2-2. Yoder finished the game 3 for 3 with two runs and two RBIs.

WU trailed 3-2 after Yoder hit an RBI single in the fourth inning, but Willamette regained the lead when Barnes smacked a two-run homer with two outs in the fifth inning. Debra Bohren (Fr., RF, Tillamook, OR/Tillamook HS), who pinch-ran following a single by Wallace, also scored on the play. The homer tied Willamette's single season record of six homers, set by Geneva Hale (Jr., 1B, Shoreline, WA/Shorecrest HS) as a sophomore last season and equaled by Hale this year. Barnes was tied for second on the all-time list when she hit five homers in 2006.

Wallace was 2 for 4 with a run and an RBI for the Bearcats. LaShawna Holcomb (So., CF, Renton, WA/Hazen HS) also went 2 for 4. Willamette ended the game with a total of seven runners left on base, while the Bruins stranded five runners.

After completing the suspended game on Thursday, the Bearcats will play a four-game NWC series over the weekend at Whitworth College in Spokane, Wash. The Bearcats will take on the Pirates in two games on Saturday, April 21, followed by two more games on Sunday, April 22. Both doubleheaders will start at 12 p.m. (PDT).

Game #1 - George Fox University 7, Willamette University 4 - Box Score
Game #2 - Suspended in the bottom of the second inning with Willamette leading 4-3