Bearcats Earn Split at Pacific

By Sara Brooks, Assistant Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6219

FOREST GROVE, ORE. -- The Willamette University softball team split two games against Pacific University on Sunday, March 21. The Bearcats lost the first game, 6-5 but rallied for a win in the second game, 9-8. WU won three of the four games against the Boxers this weekend.

Willamette moves to 14-4 overall and 7-1 in the Northwest Conference. Pacific is now 10-10 overall and 5-3 in the NWC. The Bearcats are tied for second place with Linfield College. Pacific Lutheran is off to an 8-0 NWC start and is in first place.

WU led the first game 4-0 heading into the bottom of sixth, when the Pacific bats finally came alive. The Boxers rallied for six runs on four hits to grab a 6-4 lead. Brooke Fogwell hit a three-run home run and Jessie Garcia added a two-run home run during the inning.

Willamette added one run in the top of the seventh but fell one run short of a comeback. Kelli Synder (Fr., C, Longview, WA/Kelso HS) had an RBI single in the seventh.

Mica Romero (So., SS, Woodland, CA/Woodland Christian HS) hit a two-run homer in the game. Sierra Lessel (So., OF, Eugene, OR/Churchill HS) had two hits, two runs and two stolen bases.

Chelsey Chamberlain picked up the win in relief for the Boxers. She moved to 4-4 on the season. Despite pitching five innings of scoreless ball, Talissa Huntsman (So., P, Richland, WA/Richland HS) took the loss in the circle for the Bearcats. Huntsman pitched 5 1/3 innings and gave up five runs on seven hits.

The bats came alive early in the second game for Willamette. With two outs in the first inning, Romero walked and then stole second. Bri Compton (Jr., P, Kalispell, MT/Wenatchee CC) hit a double that scored Romero. Then, Synder hit her second RBI single of the day to give the Bearcats an early 2-0 lead.

Willamette plated four runs in the third inning on three hits. Nichole Robertson (So., OF, Elk Grove, CA/Cosumnes River College) hit a two-run triple to ignite the offense during the inning. Lessel had an RBI single as well.

The offense continued to roll in the fourth inning as the Bearcats added three more runs to take a 9-1 lead. Once again, it was Robertson who came up big with a two-run double. Nicole Wallace (Sr. 1B, Roseville, CA/Roseville HS) added an RBI single.

Compton picked up the win for the Bearcats. She pitched five innings, giving up three runs and ten hits, while striking out five. Compton is now 7-0. Alex Watilo (So., P, Newcastle, CA/Del Oro HS) pitched two innings in relief. She gave up five runs, four of them earned. Compton returned to the circle during the seventh inning. Miranda McNealy received the loss for Pacific and moved to 6-4 on the season.

Pacific scored four runs on six hits in the bottom of the seventh but the comeback effort fell short, giving WU the 9-8 victory. The two teams combined for 26 hits and 17 runs in the game.

Willamette will play two games against Oregon Institute of Technology on Wednesday, March 24 in Salem, Ore. The doubleheader will be the first home games for WU after the Bearcats played their first 18 games on the road. The first game will begin at 2 p.m. (PDT).

GAME #1 - BOX SCORE

Pacific University 6
Willamette University 5

GAME #2 - BOX SCORE
Willamette University 9
Pacific University 8
Sierra Lessel was 2 for 3 with two runs and two stolen bases in the first game of the doubleheader.

Sierra Lessel was 2 for 3 with two runs and two stolen bases in the first game of the doubleheader.