Watilo Throws Nine Innings in 5-4 Win over Whitworth

Pirates Prevent Series Sweep with 8-1 Victory in Final Game

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

SPOKANE, WASH. -- Junior pitcher Alex Watilo (Newcastle, CA/Del Oro HS) went the distance in the circle as Willamette University edged Whitworth University, 5-4 in nine innings, to start a doubleheader on Sunday, April 17. Whitworth, which also lost two games to the Bearcats on Saturday, prevented a series sweep, as the Pirates won Sunday's second game, 8-1.

Both teams have clinched berths in the Northwest Conference Tournament, which will feature the top four teams in the regular season standings April 22-23 at Linfield College. Whitman ended the day with a 16-10 record in the NWC (18-16 overall), while Willamette moved to 16-12 (19-17 overall).

The Pirates have clinched at least a tie for third, but Whitworth must win at least one of two make-up games against Pacific Lutheran on Tuesday in order to claim the #3 seed for the tournament.

If Whitworth loses both games to PLU, Willamette will tie the Pirates for third place. The Bearcats own the tie-breaker for the #3 seed in the tournament after taking three of four games from Whitworth this weekend.

Watilo struck out eight batters and allowed just one walk. She held the Pirates scoreless through the first five innings, but Whitworth erased Willamette's 4-0 lead with one run in the sixth and three runs in the seventh.

In the eighth, Watilo shut down the Pirates with a strikeout, a ground out and another strikeout.

After Willamette took a 5-4 lead in the top of the ninth, Watilo quickly recorded another ground out, followed by a strikeout. Julia Johnson reached first base on an error in the outfield, but Watilo forced pinch-hitter Hanna Boyd to ground out back to the circle for the final out of the game.

The Bearcats built their 4-0 advantage with two runs in the second and two more in the fourth.

In the second inning, both runs were scored with two outs. Susie Krewer (Jr., LF/SS, Sacramento, CA/Mira Loma HS) was hit by a pitch to start the inning. Hope Kloczko (So., C, Cameron Park, CA/Oak Ridge HS) batted next and reached first base on an error.

Krewer eventually scored on a bases-loaded walk issued to Sierra Lessel (Jr., CF, Eugene, OR/Churchill HS). Klcozko crossed the plate when Mica Romero (Jr., SS, Woodland, CA/Woodland Christian School) also walked.

Both of Willamette's runs in the fourth inning reached home on a single to center by Yvonne Drabin (So., OF, Freemont, CA/Moreau Catholic HS).

Kelli Snyder (So., C, Longview, WA/Kelso HS) and Nichole Robertson (Jr., RF, Elk Grove, CA/Franklin HS/Cosumnes River College) hit back-to-back singles to begin the stanza. Suzannah Von Trapp (Jr., 3B, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) walked. Drabin's single scored Robertson and pinch-runner Carolyn Cava (Jr., OF, Salinas, CA/Robert Stevenson School).

Johnson singled to start the sixth inning for Whitworth. She scored on a double to left field by Heather Hesselgesser. In the bottom of the seventh, the Pirates used an RBI single by Kelsey Ayers and a two-run double by Caty Lieseke to drive in three runs to tie the game.

After neither team scored in the eighth, Romero opened the ninth with a walk. She went to second on a bunt single by Courtney Galli (So., SS, Rocklin, CA/Rocklin HS) and continued to third when the catcher threw wildly.

With Talissa Huntsman (Jr., UT/RHP, Richland, WA/Richland HS) batting, Galli attempted to steal second. Galli was thrown out, but Romero scored the go-ahead run as the ball went toward second.

Galli was 2 for 5 for Willamette in the opener. Romero earned a double in two at bats. For Whitworth, Sami Parr was 3 for 5, while Lieseke went 2 for 4 and Johnson was 2 for 5.

Willamette held a 1-0 lead in the third inning of the second game after Kate Schimmel (Fr., SS, Oregon City, OR/Oregon City HS) singled, move to second on a wild pitch, reached third on a sacrifice by Drabin and scored on a bunt single by Von Trapp.

The lone run kept the Bearcats in front until the bottom of the fifth, when Whitworth scored twice. Ayers walked to open the stanza. She scored one out later on a double by Parr. With two outs, Johnson also doubled to send Parr across the plate.

Whitworth extended its lead with six runs in the sixth. The Pirates took advantage of four hits and two errors during the inning, which began with a triple by Hesselgesser and also included RBI singles by Emily Anderson and Parr. Three of the runs were unearned.

Parr and Johnson each went 2 for 3 for the Pirates in the second game. Anderson (11-6) pitched all seven inning, threw a six-hitter and also finished 2 for 4 at the plate. Willamette's six hits were earned by six players.

BOX SCORES

Willamette University 5
Whitworth University 4
9 innings
Statistics

Whitworth University 8
Willamette University 1
Statistics

Alex Watilo pitched all nine innings with eight strikeouts in WU's 5-4 extra-inning win.

Alex Watilo pitched all nine innings with eight strikeouts in WU's 5-4 extra-inning win.