Willamette Completes Weekend Sweep Over Whitworth

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University softball team scored a run in the bottom of the seventh to break a 4-4 tie and defeat the visiting Whitworth University Pirates in game one, 5-4, in Northwest Conference action on Sunday, April 25. The Bearcats won the second game of the day, 6-2, to complete the four-game weekend sweep over the Pirates.

Whitworth scored first in the first game, grabbing an early 2-0 lead in the second inning. Willamette's bats came alive in the third inning, when Hope Kloczko (Fr., C, Cameron Park, CA/Oak Ridge HS) led off the stanza with a single to center field. After Jessica Barry (So., Cupertino, CA/Monte Vista HS) sacrificed to move Kloczko to third, Sierra Lessel (So., OF, Eugene, OR/Churchill HS) hit an RBI double to center to score Kloczko.

The Pirates rallied to score two runs in the top of the sixth to take a 4-1 lead. With their backs against the wall, the Bearcats pounded out three runs on four hits to tie the game at 4-4 after six innings.

In the sixth, Talissa Huntsman (So., 3B/P, Richland, WA/Richland HS) and Kloczko each hit singles. With one out, Nichole Robertson (So., OF, Elk Grove, CA/Cosumnes River Coll.) doubled to left field to score Huntsman. Kloczko advanced to third on the play.

Barry hit an infield single to put runners at the corners for Lessel. Lessel came through with a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Kloczko. After Mica Romero (So., SS, Woodland, CA/Woodland Christian HS) was intentionally walked to load the bases, Bri Compton (Jr., P, Kalispell, MT/Wenatchee Valley CC) was hit by a pitch. Robertson scored on the play to tie the game.

After Compton retired the side in order in the top of the seventh, the Bearcats started their half of the inning with a single by Huntsman. Emily Bray (Fr., PR, Martinez, CA/Alhambra HS) entered the game to pinch run for Huntsman.

Senior Nicole Wallace (1B, Roseville, CA/Roseville HS) sacrificed to move Bray to second. Kloczko came up big for WU again, hitting a single that moved Bray over to third. Yvonne Drabin (Fr., PR, Fremont, CA/Moreau Catholic HS) pinch ran for Kloczko and stole second.

With runners on second and third, Robertson hit a deep single to right to score the game-winning run from third.

Compton earned the win for the Bearcats. The junior threw a complete game and allowed just five hits. She moved her season record to 11-3.

Jessica Mangis picked up the loss for the Pirates. She allowed five runs on 13 hits in 6 1/3 innings of work. Her season record dropped to 10-4.

The second game was less nerve-racking for Willamette fans. The Bearcat bats hammered out four runs on five hits in the first inning to earn an early 4-0 lead.

Barry hit a single to start the inning for the 'Cats. Lessel followed with a double to center. With two runners on and one out, Huntsman hit an RBI single to left field to score both runs. Kelli Synder (Fr., DP, Longview, WA/Kelso HS) smacked a two-run home run to give the Bearcats their 4-0 lead.

Willamette scored two more runs in the fourth inning. Robertson hit a solo home run, her third of the season. The Bearcats got their final run when Kiley Herrick (Fr., 2B, Colusa, CA/Colusa HS) walked with the bases loaded.

Whitworth managed to score two runs in the sixth inning but fell four runs short of the comeback.

Huntsman picked up the win in the circle for WU. She threw six innings, allowing just two hits and two runs. The win was her seventh of the season.

The Bearcats improved their record to 27-11 overall and 19-7 in the NWC. Whitworth dropped to 18-18 overall and 12-16 in the NWC.

Willamette will host Pacific Lutheran University for a pair of NWC games on Monday, April 26. The first game will begin at 2 p.m. (PDT). The games were originally scheduled for April 2, but were postponed due to the weather.


Willamette University 6
Whitworth University 2

Willamette University 5
Whitworth University 4

Willamette congratulates Nichole Robertson (#6). She hit a single and a double in Game 1 and a homer in Game 2.

Willamette congratulates Nichole Robertson (#6). She hit a single and a double in Game 1 and a homer in Game 2.