Bearcats and Lutes Split NWC Doubleheader

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

TACOMA, WASH. -- Willamette University and Pacific Lutheran University split a Northwest Conference softball doubleheader on Sunday, March 29 at the PLU Field. The Bearcats won the first game, 14-2, on the run rule in five innings. The Lutes took the second game, 3-2.

Willamette, ranked #7 in NCAA Division III, ended the day with a 15-2 overall record, including 8-2 in the NWC. Pacific Lutheran went to 9-15 overall, 7-5 in the NWC.

Suzannah Von Trapp hit a two-run homer in the first game for the only home run of the day. It was Von Trapp's third homer of the season. Marissa Richards provided WU with a triple in the first game, helping the Bearcats earn 13 hits.

WU trailed 1-0 after one inning in the opener, but held a 4-2 advantage at the end of the third inning. The Bearcats plated seven runs in the fourth inning and added three runs in the fifth. Five 'Cats registered two-hits apiece in the win. Pitcher Nikki Franchi struck out seven batters and allowed four hits, while improving to 8-1 on the season.

In the second game, PLU pitcher Stacey Hagensen struck out just one batter, while allowing seven hits and five walks, but got out of trouble several times. Hagensen forced WU to strand eight runners on the base paths during the game.

PLU scored three runs on seven hits. The Lutes tallied two runs in the second inning. Vanessa Bryant singled to open the stanza. She scored when Jordan Liebe followed with a triple for the game's only extra-base hit. Liebe also scored one out later, when Brit Weissenbuehler hit a grounder and the 'Cats were unable to throw out Liebe at the plate.

In the third inning, two Willamette errors led to an unearned run. Caitlin Brown scored the run on a single by Bryant.

An extended story will be posted later.

Willamette University 14
Pacific Lutheran University 2
5 innings, run rule
Pacific Lutheran University 3
Willamette University 2
Suzannah Von Trapp blasted a two-run homer in Game #1 at PLU, as the 'Cats downed the Lutes, 14-2.

Suzannah Von Trapp blasted a two-run homer in Game #1 at PLU, as the 'Cats downed the Lutes, 14-2.