Bearcats Sweep Doubleheader at George Fox, 13-2 and 4-0

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

NEWBERG, ORE. -- Willamette University, ranked #8 in NCAA Division III, swept a Northwest Conference doubleheader from George Fox University, 13-2 and 4-0, on Thursday, March 19 at Morse Field. The first game ended on the run rule in six innings.

The Bearcats upped their record to 7-1 overall, including 5-1 in the NWC. George Fox dropped to 3-12 overall, 2-6 in the NWC.

Senior pitcher Nikki Franchi (RHP, Los Gatos, CA/Saratoga HS) recorded the win in the first game. She improved to 3-1 on the season. Freshman pitcher Alex Watilo (RHP, Newcastle, CA/Del Oro HS) threw the shutout in the second game. Watilo moved to 4-0 this spring.

Each WU pitcher tossed a two-hitter. George Fox did not score an earned run during the doubleheader.

Susie Krewer (Fr., 2B, Sacramento, CA/Mira Loma HS) and Jayleen Morris (Jr., C, Lodi, CA/Tokay HS) each hit a homer for Willamette in the first game. LaShawna Holcomb (Sr., CF, Renton, WA/Hazen HS) and Mica Romero (Fr, SS, Woodland, CA/Woodland Christian) both added a triple, as the Bearcats achieved 18 hits.

The game was scoreless until Willamette plated nine runs on 10 hits in the fourth inning. Krewer completed the outburst with a three-run homer. GFU tallied two runs in the bottom of the fifth on a double by Katie Hughes and two errors. WU tacked on four runs in the top of the sixth, including two on Morris' home run.

Sierra Lessel (Fr., OF, Eugene, OR/Churchill HS) of Willamette was 3 for 4 with a run and an RBI in the first game. Romero went 3 for 4, scored three times and earned an RBI. Talisss Huntsman (Fr., 1B, Richland, WA/Richland HS) also finished the game 3 for 4.

Krewer was 2 for 4 with three runs and three RBIs. Franchi and Holcomb also provided two hits for the 'Cats.

In the second game, the 'Cats took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Romero and Huntsman pounded out back-to-back doubles. Suzannah Von Trapp (Fr., 3B, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) belted a two-run homer in the fifth stanza to increase the margin to 3-0. Huntsman, who was hit by a pitch to open the inning, also scored on the play.

Von Trapp singled, stole second and scored the game's final run in the seventh inning on a sacrifice bunt by Cirbi Anthony (Sr., LF, Vale, OR/Vale HS). Von Trapp was 2 for 3 with two runs and two RBIs during the game. Nicole Wallace (Sr., C, Roseville, CA/Roseville HS) added two hits in three at bats, while Huntsman was 1 for 2 with a run and an RBI.

Franchi struck out 11 batters in the first game. Watilo registered eight strikeouts and did not allow a walk in the second game. Chelsey Bradely, 3-9, pitched both games for the Bruins and earned six strikeouts in the opener.

Willamette is scheduled to play Dominican University (Calif.) on Sunday, March 22 at 11 a.m. (PDT) in Redding, Calif. The Bearcats will play Oregon Institute of Technology at 3 p.m. the same day, followed by another game against OIT on Monday, March 23 at 11 a.m. in Redding.

Willamette University 13
George Fox University 2
6 innings, run rule
Willamette University 4
George Fox University 0
Alex Watilo shut out George Fox in the second game of the doubleheader.

Alex Watilo shut out George Fox in the second game of the doubleheader.