Willamette Drops Twinbill at Linfield

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

MCMINNVILLE, ORE. -- The Linfield College Wildcats used a five-run fifth inning to defeat visiting Willamette University, 6-2 in game one of a Northwest Conference doubleheader. Linfield won the second game, 8-0 in five innings. The games paired two nationally ranked teams, as Linfield is ranked #18 and Willamette is #25 in the latest NCAA Division III Poll.

In game one, Willamette scored its first run in the fifth inning when Nicole Wallace (Sr., UT, Roseville, CA/Roseville HS), Talissa Huntsman (So., P, Richland, WA/Richland HS) and Nichole Robertson (So., Elk Grove, CA/Cosumnes River Coll.) strung together back-to-back-to-back singles. Robertson picked up the RBI, as WU tied the game, 1-1.

Linfield responded in a big way in the bottom of the fifth. The Wildcats scored five runs on four hits to take a 6-1 lead. Staci Doucette drove in the first two runs with a single.

The Bearcats scored one more run in the sixth when Sierra Lessel (So., OF, Eugene, OR/Churchill HS) hit a single, stole second and advanced to third on a ground out. Lessel scored on a sacrifice fly by Mica Romero (So., SS, Woodland, CA/Woodland Christian HS).

Claire Velaski picked up the win for Linfield. Velaski threw a complete game, allowing just five hits and two runs while striking out six. She is now 13-2 overall this season.

Huntsman received the loss for WU. The sophomore threw 4 1/3 innings and gave up six runs. She moved to 5-4 overall.

Linfield broke open the second game with six runs on six hits in the second inning. The Wildcats sent 10 batters to the plate during the inning. Linfield scored one more run in the fourth, and shutdown the Bearcats in the top of the fifth, to end the game on the run rule.

Bri Compton (Jr., P, Kalispell, MT/Wenatchee Valley CC) picked up the loss in relief for WU, as she went to 9-3 on the season. Lauren Harvey (14-2) earned the win in the circle for the Wildcats.

Lessel was 2 for 4 in the doubleheader for Willamette. Wallace was 2 for 3 in the first game and also scored a run. For Linfield, Emily Lepp finished the day 4 for 7 at the plate. She scored three runs, earned three RBIs and hit one home run.

Willamette softball will host Whitworth University for a pair of Northwest Conference doubleheaders on Saturday, April 24 and Sunday, April 25. The Bearcats will then finish their regular season schedule with a twinbill against Pacific Lutheran University on Monday, April 26 at the WU Softball Field. The PLU games were rained out earlier this season.

GAME #1 - BOX SCORE

Linfield College 6
Willamette University 2

GAME #2 - BOX SCORE
Linfield College 8
Willamette University 0
5 innings, run rule
Nicole Wallace went 2 for 3 and scored a run in the first game on Sunday.

Nicole Wallace went 2 for 3 and scored a run in the first game on Sunday.