Willamette and Puget Sound Split NWC Doubleheader

Bearcats Cruise to 15-2 Win in Opener; Loggers Win Second Game, 6-3

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University rolled to a 15-2 victory on the run rule in five innings during the first game of the Bearcats' doubleheader against the University of Puget Sound on Saturday, March 26 at the WU Softball Field. In the second game, Puget Sound broke a 3-3 tie with two runs in the sixth inning and one run in the seventh to defeat the Bearcats, 6-3.

Willamette ended the day at 7-11 overall and 4-6 in the Northwest Conference. Puget Sound moved to 7-15 on the season, 5-7 in the NWC.

The Bearcats surged out to a big lead in the first game, plating four runs in the first inning and adding 10 runs in the second inning.

A leadoff double by Sierra Lessel (Jr., CF, Eugene, OR/Churchill HS) and a two-run homer from Mica Romero (Jr., SS, Woodland, CA/Woodland Christian School) gave WU a 2-0 advantage just two batters into the game.

Also in the first inning for Willamette, Talissa Huntsman (Jr., UT/P, Richland, WA/Richland HS) scored on a ground out by Kelli Snyder (So., C, Longview, WA/Kelso HS) and Nichole Robertson (Jr., RF, Elk Grove, CA/Franklin HS/Cosumnes River Coll.) reached home on a single by Courtney Galli (So., 2B, Rocklin, CA/Rocklin HS). WU had three hits during the stanza.

The bottom of the second inning was even longer, as WU sent 14 batters to plate as the Bearcats created the 10 runs on seven hits. Willamette also benefited from four errors by Puget Sound during the inning. WU piled up a total of eight RBIs during the at bat, led by Huntsman a two-RBI single to right field. Galli had the only extra-base hit, an RBI double.

UPS tallied both of its runs in the top of the fourth. With one out, Briana Huber singled and went to third on a double by Megan Janes. Huber scored when Elayna Van Hess grounded out to second base. Janes scored on a single through the left side by Carolyn Moore.

Willamette added one more run for the 15-2 final score, as Emily Bray (So., 1B, Martinez, CA/Alhambra HS) singled in the fourth inning and reached home on a double by Susie Krewer (Jr., 2B/OF, Sacramento, CA/Mira Loma HS). WU amassed 13 hits during the game, while Puget Sound finished with seven.

Romero was 2 for 2 with a homer, three runs and three RBIs for the Bearcats. Galli finished 3 for 4 with a run and two RBIs. Also earning two hits for Wu during the contest were Lessel and Krewer. Lessel scored twice, while Krewer tallied one run to go with two RBIs. Megan Janes led UPS by going 2 for 3 with a run scored.

Pitcher Alex Watilo (Jr., RHP, Newcastle, CA/Del Oro HS) improved to 7-2 with the victory in Game 1. She threw three innings and had three strikeouts, while allowing three hits.

In the second game, Aryn Grause of Puget Sound went 4 for 4 at the plate with two home runs and four RBIs. She gave the Loggers a 1-0 lead in the first inning with a solo homer. She also broke the 3-3 tie later in the game with a two-run homer in the top of the sixth.

WU took a 2-1 advantage in the bottom of the first. Romero singled with one out and moved to second when Robertson was hit by a pitch one out later. The runners each advanced one base on a passed ball and both scored on a single by Krewer through the right side of the infield.

Each team tacked on a run in the third inning, leaving WU in front 3-2.

The Loggers had seven batters in the top of the inning, but two were thrown out at the plate on infield grounders with the bases loaded. Jessica Holt scored the lone run on a base hit by Alex Usher. For WU in the bottom of the third, Romero walked and eventually scored when Krewer reached base on an error with two outs.

UPS tied the game in the fourth inning in an RBI single by Grause that brought Moore across the plate. The Loggers, however, were unable to score multiple runs, as Puget Sound had three hits, but left three runners on base for the second inning in a row.

Grouse gave Puget Sound a 5-3 lead in the top of the sixth. An insurance run in the seventh increased the margin to three runs. In the bottom of the seventh, WU earned one hit and UPS committed two errors, as the Bearcats loaded the bases with one out. UPS pitcher Auriel Sperberg forced an infield fly and then registered a strikeout to end the game.

Sperberg (4-7) tossed all seven innings in the second game. She struck out five batters and had one walk.

The Loggers outhit Willamette 12-6 in the second game. Grause's four hits led the way. James was 2 for 4, while Moore finished 2 for 4 with two runs scored.

Romero went 1 for 3 and scored twice for WU. She was 3 for 5 on the day with five runs and three RBIs.

Willamette and Puget Sound will conclude the four-game series with another doubleheader on Sunday, March 27. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m. (PDT).

BOX SCORES

Willamette University 15
University of Puget Sound 2
5 innings, run rule
Statistics

University of Puget Sound 6
Willamette University 3
Statistics

Mica Romero was 2 for 2 with a homer, three runs and three RBIs in the first game.

Mica Romero was 2 for 2 with a homer, three runs and three RBIs in the first game.