Willamette Outscores Pomona-Pitzer, 9-6

Romero Goes 4 for 4 with Two Doubles

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

CLAREMONT, CALIF. -- The Willamette University softball team defeated Pomona-Pitzer in a high-scoring game, 9-6, on Wednesday, March 23 at Pomona-Pitzer Field. Willamette moved to 6-10 on the season, while the Sagehens dropped to 7-14. The game concluded the Bearcats' Spring Break trip to California.

Both teams produced three runs in the first inning.

WU tallied the first run quickly, as Sierra Lessel (Jr., CF, Eugene, OR/Churchill HS) walked and then scored on a double by Mica Romero (Jr., SS, Woodland, CA/Woodland Christian School).

One out later, Romero scored from third on a passed ball. Susie Krewer (Jr., UT, Sacramento, CA/Mira Loma HS) singled with two outs and scored when a single by Kelli Snyder (So., C, Longview, WA/Kelso HS) was followed by an error in right field.

With one out in the bottom of the first, Caitlyn Hynes singled and Alyssa Corley walked. Brianna Marcantoni reached base on an error at shortstop, allowing Hynes to score. Corley crossed the plate on a single by Carolyn Cross, while Marcantoni scored on a base hit by Alexis Garcia.

WU tacked on one run in the top of the second and the Sagehens scored twice in the bottom of the inning, leaving Pomona-Pitzer with a 5-4 lead. Kylie Herrick (So., IF, Colusa, CA/Colusa HS) singled and scored Willamette's run when Romero doubled for the second time in as many innings. Hynes drove in both of Pomona's runs with a home run to left field.

The Bearcats tied the score but left three runners on base in the fifth inning.

Romero, who finished the game 4 for 4, opened the stanza with a single. Talissa Huntsman (Jr., UT/P, Richland, WA/Richland HS) sacrifice bunted to advance Romero to second. Nichole Robertson (Jr., RF, Elk Grove, CA/Franklin HS/Cosumnes River Coll.) was hit by a pitch. A double-steal put runners at second and third.

Krewer singled to load the bases. Snyder was hit by a pitch, sending Romero across the plate.

The Sagehens escaped the inning without allowing additional runs, as an out at home on a fielder's choice, followed by a ground out to the pitcher, ended the threat.

It was a temporary reprieve, as the Bearcats created four runs in the top of the sixth. The inning included two hits, an error, three steals, a sacrifice bunt, one walk and one passed ball. Two of the runs were earned, although a double by Huntsman resulted in the only RBI. At the conclusion of the inning, WU held a 9-5 advantage.

A two-out double by Garcia in the bottom of the seventh brought home Corley with the final run for the Sagehens. Romero threw out the next batter, Lauren Boden, on a grounder to shortstop.

Romero's 4-for-4 performance led the Bearcats. She scored three runs to go with two doubles and two RBIs. Krewer and Snyder also added two hits apiece for WU. Hope Kloczko (So., C, Cameron Park, CA/Oak Ridge HS) went 1 for 1 with a double.

Hynes was 3 for 4, scored two runs and had two RBIs for Pomona-Pitzer. Garcia, Arianna Roach and Lauren Boden each finished 2  for 4. Willamette outhit the Sagehens 12-10.

Alex Watilo (Jr., RHP, Newcastle, CA/Del Oro HS) pitched the final 6 2/3 innings to earn the win for Willamette. She allowed seven hits, while improving to 5-2 overall.

Including complete-game wins over Whittier College (6 inn., run rule, March 22) and the University of La Verne (earlier on March 23), Watilo threw 19 2/3 innings in just over 24 hours.

Cross pitched all seven innings for Pomona-Pitzer. She fell to 5-9 on the season.

Willamette's next action is on Saturday, March 26 in a Northwest Conference doubleheader at the WU Softball Field against the University of Puget Sound. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. (PDT). The teams will conclude the four-game series with a doubleheader on Sunday, March 27, also starting at 12 p.m.

BOX SCORE

Willamette University 9
Pomona-Pitzer 6

Junior center fielder Sierra Lessel walked and scored the game's first run.

Junior center fielder Sierra Lessel walked and scored the game's first run.