Romero Hits Two Homers, as Bearcats and Bruins Split Doubleheader

Willamette Earns 9-1 Victory in Opener; GFU Wins Second Game, 10-7

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

HAPPY VALLEY, ORE. -- Mica Romero (Sr., SS, Woodland, CA/Woodland Christian School) blasted two home runs, and pitcher Alex Watilo (Sr., RHP, Newcastle, CA/Del Oro HS) threw a four-hitter with five strikeouts, to lead Willamette University to a 9-1 win over George Fox University in the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday, Feb. 26 at Hood View Park. WU registered the win on the run rule in five innings.

George Fox rallied from a 5-2 deficit in the second game by scoring eight runs in the fifth inning. The Bruins went on to defeat the Bearcats, 10-7, and gain a split of the doubleheader.

WU won three out of four games in the Northwest Conference series, as the Bearcats scored 45 runs, while GFU scored 22. Willamette moved to 4-5 on the season, 3-1 in the NWC. George Fox went to 6-8 overall, 1-3 in the NWC.

The Bearcats scored two unearned runs for an early lead in the first inning of the opener. Jessica Barry (Jr., LF, Cupertino, CA/Monte Vista HS/UNLV) hit an infield single near the pitching circle to start the inning. She stole second base. GFU recorded a strikeout and then Heather Winslow (Fr., 1B, Oregon City, OR/Oregon city HS) was hit by a pitch.

Willamette's next batter, Theresa Martin (Fr., 3B, Modesto, CA/Johansen HS), reached base on a throwing error by shortstop Bethany Chriss, allowing Barry to score. Pitcher Rachel Fielder registered a second strikeout, but then threw a wild pitch, which brought Winslow home. A ground out to shortstop ended the threat.

Romero increased the Bearcats' lead to 3-0 with a leadoff solo homer to left field in the top of the second inning. In the bottom of the stanza, Fielder singled with one out and moved to second when Nicole Renteria grounded out to first base. Fielder stole third, but was left on base when Mckynna Towery line out to Galli at second.

The Bearcats expanded their advantage with five runs in the third. WU amassed six hit during the stanza, including an RBI double by Winslow, a run-scoring bunt single by Martin and an RBI single from Nichole Robertson (Sr., RF, Elk Grove, CA/Franklin HS/Cosumnes River Coll.). One run scored on a wild pitch and one run crossed the plate on an error.

GFU tallied its only run in the Bruins' next at bat. Kerrianne Davidson singled down the right field line. Kris Trindle singled to the circle and advanced to third when Watilo committed a throwing error. Davidson scored on the play.

Romero blasted her second homer of the day to center field in the fifth inning to complete the scoring. She was 2 for 2 with a walk, three runs and two RBIs. Seven Bearcats added one hit apiece, giving WU at total of nine hits during the game. Winslow was 1 for 1 with an RBI and two runs scored.

The top hitter in Game #1 for George Fox was Trindle, who went 2 for 3.

Watilo, now 4-2 on the season, did not allow an earned run during the game. She limited the Bruins to just four hits in 19 at bats. Fielder struck out five batters and allowed one walks, but gave up nine hits and fell to 1-1 for GFU.

Willamette held the lead for much of the second game, before GFU began its comeback. The Bearcats took a 2-0 advantage in the second inning, when Romero batted first and reached base on an error. She scored on a one-out triple by Robertson, who later scored on a ground out by Suzannah Von Trapp (Sr., 3B/CF, Salem, OR/South Salem HS).

Chriss scored for GFU on an RBI single by Towery in the bottom of the second. WU matched the tally with a run in the top of the third, as Martin walked with one out, stole second, and scored on a single by Kelli Snyder (Jr., C, Longview, WA/Kelso HS).

GFU cut the margin to 3-2 with a run scored by Renteria in the fourth inning. The Bearcats tacked on a two runs in the fifth. Martin doubled to right center and eventually scored. Snyder singled and also scored during the inning.

The eight-run outburst by the Bruins in the fifth provided a lead for GFU pitcher Erin Hento. The Bruins recorded seven hits during the offensive surge, including a pair of doubles by Jenny Milton. Her first double started the inning, while her second double drove in the sixth and seventh runs. Milton completed the rally when she scored on an infield single by Felicia Chavez.

WU opened the sixth frame with back-to-back singles by Von Trapp and Barry, but a fielder's choice and two groundouts ended the inning. Snyder began the seventh with a solo homer and Robertson added a solo homer two outs later, but the Bearcats were unable to catch up with the Bruins.

Hento (3-3) struck out three batters and walked two. She gave up 15 hits and all seven Bearcat runs (5 earned). WU starter Hayley Glantz (Fr., RHP, Reno, NV/Robert McQueen HS) went 4 2/3 innings and struck out three Bruins, while allowing three walks and eight hits. She gave up seven runs (6 earned) and fell to 0-3.

Milton was 3 for 4 with two runs, two doubles and two RBIs for George Fox. Snyder finished 3 for 4 with a homer, two runs and three RBIs for Willamette. Robertson was 2 for 4 with a homer, a triple, two runs and two RBIs.

Willamette will host crosstown rival Corban University for a single game on Wednesday, Feb. 29. It will be Willamette's home opener and will begin at 2 p.m. (PST) at the WU Softball Field.


BOX SCORES

Willamette University 9
George Fox University 1
Run Rule, 5 innings
Statistics

George Fox University 10
Willamette University 7
Statistics

Mica Romero pounded out two home runs in Willamette's 9-1 win over the Bruins.

Mica Romero pounded out two home runs in Willamette's 9-1 win over the Bruins.