Willamette Splits Doubleheader at George Fox

Bearcats Win Opener, 7-3; Bruins Take Second Game, 4-3

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

NEWBERG, ORE. -- Willamette University and George Fox University split a Northwest Conference doubleheader at Morse Field on Thursday, March 31. Willamette was victorious in the first game, 7-3, while the Bruins won the second game, 4-3. Both games were part of a rescheduled doubleheader that was originally slated for March 12, but was postponed due to the weather.

Willamette moved to 9-12 overall, 6-7 in the NWC. George Fox went to 8-16 on the season, 2-10 in the conference.

Mica Romero (Jr., SS, Woodland, CA/Woodland Christian School) of Willamette hit for three-fourths of the cycle in the first game, as she recorded a double, a triple and a home run to lead the Bearcats to victory. Romero also scored three runs during the game. Nichole Robertson (Jr., RF, Elk Grove, CA/Franklin HS/Cosumnes River Coll.) of WU added a 4-for-4 performance in the opener, while matching Romero with three runs scored.

Bethany Chriss of George Fox belted a three-run homer in the first inning of Game 1 to account for all three of the Bruins' runs.

In the second game, George Fox rallied from 1-0 and 3-2 deficits to win. Two hits and two errors helped the Bruins score the final two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Erin Hento scored what proved to be the winning run on a sacrifice fly by Shelby Briske.

Alex Watilo (Jr., RHP, Newcastle, CA/Del Oro HS) pitched a six-hitter for Willamette in the opener, while recording four strikeouts and allowing one walk. In the second game, Watilo pitched the final inning in relief and received the loss. She ended the day with a 9-3 record.

Hento threw all seven innings for GFU in Game 2. She registered five strikeouts and gave up one walk, as she improved to 7-7.

The Bearcats tallied the first two runs of the opener in their first trip to the plate. Romero opened the scoring with a one-out solo homer to center field. Robertson singled, stole second and moved to third when Huntsman also singled. Robertson scored on a squeeze bunt by Susie Krewer (Jr., 2B, Sacramento, CA/Mira Loma HS).

The home run by Chriss put George Fox in front, 3-2, but the Bearcats tied the game in the top of the second and moved in front for good in the third.

Courtney Galli (So., 2B/SS, Rocklin, CA/Rocklin HS) reached base on a fielding error by the third baseman to open the second inning. Two ground outs moved her to third, and she scored on a single up the middle by Sierra Lessel (Jr., CF, Eugene, OR/Churchill HS).

WU's run in the third stanza was scored by Robertson, who singled to start the inning, advanced to third on a double by Huntsman and scored on a ground out by Krewer. It was Krewer's second RBI on her way to three RBIs during the game.

Two runs in the fifth inning extended Willamette's advantage to 6-3.

Romero doubled to right and Robertson singled to center to start the inning. Romero held at third, but the Bruins threw home and then sent the ball to second. Romero scored on the throw to second. Robertson crossed the plate two batters later, when Krewer grounded out to first base.

The Bearcats added another run in their final at bat. Romero tripled to right field and recorded the run on a single by Robertson into left field.

Meanwhile, Watilo limited GFU to three hits over the final six innings. Two of the hits were singles with one out in the bottom of the fifth. Chriss walked to load the bases, but Watilo forced Hento into an inning-ending double play.

WU achieved 11 hits the first game. The top four batters in the Bearcats' line-up were a combined 10 for 16 during the contest.

The Bearcats produced the first run of Game 2 in the third inning. Suzannah Von Trapp (Jr., 3B, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) walked and stole second to start the inning. She moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Lessel and reached home on a sacrifice fly by Romero.

GFU took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning on the only home run of the game. Becka Doyle hit the two-RBI homer over the center field fence. Willamette moved back in front with two runs in the top of the sixth, before the Bruins earned the tying and winning runs in the bottom of the inning.

In the top of the sixth, Krewer was at first with two outs after reaching base on a fielder's choice. Hope Kloczko (So., C, Cameron Park, CA/Oak Ridge HS) singled to drive in Krewer. Galli placed a double down the left field line to bring Kloczko home, as WU took a 3-2 edge.

Kris Trindle hit a single to start the bottom of the sixth for George Fox. Chriss walked to put runners at first and second. Hento reached base on a fielder's choice as Trindle was thrown out at third. Chriss advanced to third when the throw attempting to complete a double play went wide of first for an error.

Hento stole second to put the winning run at second with Chriss still at third. Kerrianne Davidson reached first on a fielding error at shortstop and Chriss scored to tie the game. Briske followed with her game-winning sacrifice fly to bring Hento across the plate.

Willamette will host Lewis & Clark College in an NWC weekend series on Saturday, April 2 and Sunday, April 3. The teams will play a doubleheader at the WU Softball Field each day starting at 12 p.m. (PDT).


Willamette University 7
George Fox University 3

George Fox University 4
Willamette University 3

Mica Romero hit a double, a triple and a home run in the first game.

Mica Romero hit a double, a triple and a home run in the first game.

Nichole Robertson went 4 for 4 in the first game and was 5 for 7 during the doubleheader.

Nichole Robertson went 4 for 4 in the first game and was 5 for 7 during the doubleheader.