Whitworth Defeats Bearcats, 8-2 and 8-0, to Remain Undefeated in NWC

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

SPOKANE, WASH. -- Whitworth College remained undefeated in the Northwest Conference by sweeping a doubleheader from visiting Willamette University, 8-2 and 8-0 on the run rule in five innings, on Saturday, April 21 at Marks Field. Whitworth, ranked #8 in NCAA Division III, moved to 27-3 on the season, including 22-0 in the NWC. The Pirates have won a school record 14 consecutive games. Willamette dropped to 17-14, 11-11 in the NWC.

In the opener, Willamette took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, when Liz Gilgan (Jr., SS, Sherwood, OR/Sherwood HS) singled through the right side of the infield, stole second and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Molly Barnes (Sr., 3B, Salem, OR/Sprague HS). Whitworth tied in the game in the bottom of the first, as Halley Cey took advantage of an outfield error to go from the plate to third base. She scored when Lindsay Davis followed with a single.

The Pirates tallied five runs in the second inning to take charge of the game. The final four runs were scored on a grand slam by Lacey Perry. All five runs were unearned, as an error early in the inning kept the rally alive.

Willamette pulled within 6-2 int he top of the third. Cirbi Anthony (So., LF, Vale, OR/Vale HS) began the inning with a single and advanced to second. Two outs later, with Anthony on third, Barnes hit an RBI single to left field.

Whitworth extended its lead with one run in the fourth inning and another run in the fifth. Morgan Thomsen grounded out to drive in Heather Case in the fourth inning. Davis hit a single through the middle of the infield to score Amber Fowler in the fifth inning.

The Bearcats threatened to rally in the sixth stanza, as WU recorded three consecutive singles, but Barnes was thrown out at the plate following a single by Geneva Hale (Jr., 1B, Shoreline, WA/Shorecrest HS).

Jessie LaPlante earned a complete-game victory for Whitworth in the first game. She allowed seven hits, struck out six batters and did not give up a walk. She upped her individual record to 16-0 on the season. Nikki Franchi (So., RHP, Los Gatos, CA/Saratoga HS) fell to 9-6 for Willamette. She had six strikeouts and allowed three walks, while giving up only two earned runs.

Barnes led Willamette on offense in the opener with two hits and two RBIs in three at bats. Five other Bearcats registered one hit apiece. For Whitworth in Game #1, Case was 3 for 3 with two runs and an RBI, Davis was 2 for 4 with two RBIs and Parry was 2 for 4 with a run and four RBIs.

In the second game, Whitworth pitcher Jennifer Eckhoff (4-1) limited Willamette to two hits in the five-inning, run-rule victory for the Pirates. She struck out four batters and matched LaPlante with no walks. Leighann Auer of Willamette went to 5-6 with the loss.

Whitworth scored three runs in the second inning, one run in the third and two in the fourth for a 6-0 lead. LaPlante ended the game on the eight-run rule when she blasted a two-run homer with one out in the fifth stanza.

The Pirates outhit Willamette, 10-2, in the second game. Cey went 2 for 2 with two RBIs and a run scored, while LaPlante finished 2 for 3 with two runs and three RBIs. Parry was 2 for 3 and recorded one run.

Willamette's hit in Game #2 came from Barnes, who was 1 for 2 during the game, and from Franchi, who also went 1 for 2. Barnes leads the Bearcats with a .460 batting average for the season.

Whitworth and Willamette will play another doubleheader in Spokane, Wash., on Sunday, April 22. First pitch in the opening game is set for 12 p.m. (PDT).

Game #1 - Whitworth College 8, Willamette University 2 - Box Score
Game #2 - Whitworth College 8, Willamette University 0 (5 inn., run rule) - Box Score