Bearcats Win Second Game 7-1 to Split Doubleheader with Pacific

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Alex Watilo (Fr., RHP, Newcastle, CA/Del Oro HS) threw a complete-game four-hitter with five strikeouts to lead Willamette University to a 7-1 victory over Pacific University in the second game of a Northwest Conference doubleheader at the WU Softball Field on Sunday, March 8. Pacific won the first game, 5-4, behind the four-hit pitching of Miranda McNealy and homers from Chelsey Chamberlain and Brooke Fogwell.

Willamette is now 5-1 overall and 3-1 in the Northwest Conference after winning three of four games in the weekend series. Pacific ended the series with a 5-5 overall record, including 1-3 in the NWC.

In the first game, Chamberlain hit a solo home run in the first inning and Fogwell smacked a solo homer to lead off the sixth inning.

Pacific led 2-0 after two and a half stanzas, but Willamette tied the score with a pair of unearned runs in the fifth. Nikki Franchi (Sr., RHP/D, Los Gatos, CA/Saratoga HS) and Susie Krewer (Fr., 2B, Sacramento, CA/Mira Loma HS) both walked with two outs, and scored when a fly ball by Mica Romero (Fr., SS, Woodland, CA/Woodland Christian) was misplayed in left field. Fogwell's home run broke the tie to start a three-run eighth inning for the Boxers, as Pacific took a 5-2 lead.

Willamette pulled within 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh, when Franchi hit an RBI double and Nicole Wallace (Jr., C, Roseville, CA/Roseville HS) provided a two-out RBI single. Wallace was thrown out attempting to stretch the single into a double.

Sierra Lessel (Fr., RF, Eugene, OR/Churchill HS) blasted a solo home run for Willamette in the sixth inning of the second game. WU took a 5-0 lead by scoring five times in the third inning and held a 7-0 advantage after six stanzas. The Boxers tallied their only run in the top of the seventh.

In the first game, McNealy struck out four batters in addition to allowing four hits, as she improved to 2-3 in the circle for Pacific. She won despite walking six batters and hitting four others. In the second game, Watilo upped her record for the season to 3-0 for Willamette. In addition to striking out five batters and holding the Boxers to four hits, she also gave up no walks.

Willamette will host Lewis & Clark College in a Northwest Conference doubleheader on Saturday, March 14. The first game is slated to start at 12 p.m. (PDT).

Pacific University 5
Willamette University 4
Willamette University 7
Pacific University 1