Willamette Completes Weekend Sweep at Puget Sound

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

TACOMA, WASH. -- The Willamette University softball team grabbed two more wins on Sunday, March 7 against the University of Puget Sound. The Bearcats defeated the Loggers 7-5 and 9-7 to improve to 7-1 overall and 4-0 in the Northwest Conference. Puget Sound drops to 0-8 overall and 0-4 in the NWC. The Bearcats have now won eight straight games against the Loggers dating back to 2008.

Willamette's offense got started in the second inning as Mica Romero (So., SS, Woodland, CA/Woodland Christian HS) continued her hot hitting with a leadoff double. Talissa Huntsman (So., UTL, Richland, WA/Richland HS) reached base after being hit by a pitch. Senior Nicole Wallace (Sr., 2B, Roseville, CA/Roseville HS) came through with a two-run double to give the Bearcats a 2-0 lead. Sierra Lessel (So., OF, Eugene, OR/Winston Churchill HS) hit an RBI double of her own later in the inning to give WU a 3-0 advantage.

The Bearcats scored three more runs in the fifth and a final run in the top of the seventh to earn the 7-5 victory. Wallace was 3 for 4 at the plate with two RBIs and one run. Kelli Snyder (Fr., C, Longview, WA/Kelso HS) and Lessel each had two hits. Lessel added two RBIs and Romero scored twice.

Huntsman picked up the win for WU. She pitched four innings, giving up just two hits and three runs. Huntsman walked five and struck out four. Bri Compton (Jr., P, Kalispell, MT/Wenatchee CC) picked up the save. The junior transfer gave up two runs in relief.

For the Loggers, Athena Aasen was 3 for 4 at the plate with a run and an RBI, while Carolyn Moore went 2 for 3. Puget Sound's pitcher, Auriel Sperberg, gave up seven runs and eleven hits in the loss.

In the second game, Willamette needed to battle from behind to earn the victory. After giving up five runs in the bottom of the third, two on a home run by Aryn Grause, the Bearcats responded with five runs of their own in the top of the fourth.

With the score locked at 5-5, Willamette got a huge boost from Compton in the fifth inning.

After Jessica Barry (So., OF, Cupertino, CA/University of Nevada-Las Vegas) singled to start off the inning, Compton blasted a two-run home run to give WU a 7-5 lead. Willamette maintained the lead for the remainder of the game.

Compton finished the game with three hits, two RBIs and two runs. She also picked up the win in the circle for WU. Compton pitched 4 2/3 innings in relief, allowing just two runs on five hits. She struck out two.

Romero and Lessel each had strong offensive performances. Romero went 3 for 3 with one run and one RBI. Lessel was 2 for 4 in the game.

Grause and Carolyn Moore each went 3 of 4 for UPS. Moore also scored two runs. Aasen and Cassie Walny both hit a double for the Loggers.

Willamette travels to Panama City, Fla., to participate in the NCAA Division III Leadoff Classic from Friday, March 12 through Sunday, March 14. The Bearcats will play three preliminary round games in the Sunshine State before competing in bracket play. The team will return to Oregon to face Pacific University in Forest Grove in NWC games scheduled for March 20-21.

GAME #1 - BOX SCORE
Willamette University 7
University of Puget Sound 5
GAME #2 - BOX SCORE
Willamette University 9
University of Puget Sound 7
Mica Romero went 4 for 5 and scored three runs during the doubleheader.

Mica Romero went 4 for 5 and scored three runs during the doubleheader.