WU Scores Nines Runs in Fifth Inning for 14-4 Win over Pirates

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University, ranked #8 in the West Region of NCAA Division III, put nine runs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth inning to pull away from Whitworth University, 14-4 on the run rule, in the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday, April 20 at the WU Softball Field. Whitworth plated five runs in the fifth inning of the second game to take a 9-2 lead on its way to a 10-6 victory.

Willamette ended the afternoon with a 23-7 overall record, including 17-5 in the Northwest Conference. The visiting Pirates moved to 14-19 overall, 11-10 in the NWC.

Caitlin Waugh (So., DP/OF, Lodi, CA/Tokay HS) completed Willamette's nine-run inning with her first collegiate home run, a grand slam. The Bearcats pounded out 14 hits and Whitworth committed four errors during the first game.

In the first game, Willamette put together three runs in the first inning. The 'Cats collected five hits during the stanza, including a two-RBI double by LaShawna Holcomb (Jr., CF, Renton, WA/Hazen HS) and an RBI single by Katie Peterson (So., RF, Independence, OR/Central HS).

Marissa Richards (Jr., 1B, Newberg, OR/Newberg HS) singled in the second inning and scored on a double by Nikki Franchi (Jr., Los Gatos, CA/Saratoga HS) to give Willamette a 4-0 lead. The Bearcats added another run in the third inning on a solo homer by Peterson.

The Pirates rallied to get within 5-4 in the top of the fifth. Three hits and two walks led to four runs. Two of the runs were scored on a single down the right field line by Lacey Parry. Two more crossed the plate on a double by Morgan Thomsen.

Willamette pulled away in the bottom of the inning. Waugh hit a single and her grand slam during the inning, while Nicole Wallace (So., C/2B, Roseville,CA/Roseville HS) added a double. Franchi and Holcomb each hit a single. The Bearcats also took advantage of two errors by the Pirates.

Franchi went 4 for 4 at the plate and pitched all five innings in the opener as she improved 17-2 on the season. Holcomb was 2 for 4 with three RBIs. Franchi, Holcomb and four other Bearcats scored two runs in the victory.

Each team tallied a run in the first inning of the second game. The Pirates broke the tie with three runs in the second stanza. Carrie Gibson and Parry hit RBI singles and Halley Cey drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to center field.

Willamette cut the lead to 4-2 in the bottom of the second. Wallace singled, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Lizzy Whittemore (Fr., 3B, Yarmouth, ME/Albertson College) and reached third on a single by Crystal Kummerfeldt (Fr., 2B, Snohomish, WA/Jackson HS). The Pirates threw out Kummerfeldt at second on a double steal, but Wallace scored on the play.

Five runs by Whitworth in the fifth inning gave the Pirates a 9-2 lead. Cey tripled during the inning, while Caty Lieseke and Parry each contributed a double.

The Bearcats trailed 10-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh. Willamette used four consecutive hits and a fielder's choice to score three runs, but couldn't keep the rally going. Key hits were a triple by Holcomb and a double by Peterson.

Holcomb was 2 for 3 during the game. Gilgan went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, while Wallace finished 2 for 4 and scored once.

For Whitworth, Halley went 3 for 4 with three runs and three RBIs. Parry was 3 for 4 and drove in three runs. Lieseke scored twice while going 3 for 4 at the plate.

Jessica Mangis pitched all seven inning for Whitworth and upped her record to 5-4. She struck out three batters and allowed no walks. Amy Valencia (Fr., RHP, Cheyenne, WY/Cheyenne East HS) of Willamette fell to 4-3 with the loss. Debra Bohren (So., RF/LHP, Tillamook, OR/Tillamook HS) and Franchi each pitched in relief.

The Bearcats will take on Pacific University on Wednesday, April 23 in Forest Grove, Ore. The doubleheader is slated to start at 5 p.m. (PDT).

GAME #1 - BOX SCORE

Willamette University 14, Whitworth University 4 (5 innings, run rule)

GAME #2 - BOX SCORE

Whitworth University 10, Willamette University 6

Caitlin Waugh blasted a grand slam in the fifth inning of the first game. It was her first collegiate home run.

Caitlin Waugh blasted a grand slam in the fifth inning of the first game. It was her first collegiate home run.