Lutes Win Two Games versus Bearcats, 4-3 and 7-3

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Pacific Lutheran University scored an unearned run in the sixth inning to break a tie score as the Lutes defeated Willamette University, 4-3, in the first game of a Northwest Conference doubleheader on Saturday, March 10 at the WU Softball Field. PLU won the second game, 7-3.

The Lutes improved 11-5 overall, 9-1 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 7-8 overall, 6-4 in the NWC.

Both teams had six hits in the first game.

Kaaren Hatlen of Pacific Lutheran went 2 for 2 at the plate with a double and a solo homer, plus a walk, a run scored and two RBIs. She was the only Lute with more than one hit.

Willamette's six hits were recorded by six players. Theresa Martin, Courtney Galli and Suzannah Von Trapp each went 1 for 2. WU's runs were scored by Jessica Barry, Nichole Robertson and Von Trapp.

PLU gained an early lead in the opener when Ami Gran walked with one out, went to second on a groundout by Stacey Hagensen and scored on Hatlen's double. Amanda Hall popped up to shortstop, leaving Hatlin stranded at second base.

The Bearcats plated three runs in the third inning to move in front. With one out, Nichole Robertson (Sr., OF, Elk Grove, CA/Franklin HS/Cosumnes River Coll.) singled to right center. She stole second base and scored on a single by Suzannah Von Trapp (Sr., 3B, Salem, OR/South Salem HS). Jessica Barry (Jr., LF, Cupertino, CA/Monte Vista HS/UNLV) hit a bunt single toward first base, sending Von Trapp to third.

After Barry stole second, Allison Martin (So., C/DP, Thousand Oaks, CA/Westlake HS) reached base on an unsuccessful fielder's choice. Von Trapp scored on the play, while Barry moved to third. A bunt single by Theresa Martin (Fr., 3B, Modesto, CA/Johansen HS) drove in Barry with the third run.

Pacific Lutheran tied the game in the top of the fourth stanza, using a leadoff homer by Hatlen and an RBI single from Glenelle Nitta later in the inning. Hall, who followed Hatlen's homer with a single up the middle, reached second and third on groundouts and scored on the single by Nitta.

The score remained 3-3 until the top of the sixth. Katie Lowery started the inning by reaching first base when her pop-up near home plate was misplayed for an error. Lindsey Matsunaga lined into a double play back to pitcher Alex Watilo (Sr., RHP, Newcastle, CA/Del Oro HS). Nitta walked and Montessa Califano singled to center field.

Amanda Goings batted next. Her fly ball to center was dropped by Von Trapp. Nitta rounded third and scored the go-ahead run, while Califano rounded the bases, but was thrown out at the plate on Von Trapp's throw home.

The Bearcats left one runner on base in each of the final two innings, but couldn't push across the tying run.

In the sixth, Yvonne Drabin (Jr., CF, Freemond, CA/Moreau Catholic HS) pinch-hit and singled to center field. She advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Theresa Martin and went to third on a flyout by Mica Romero (Sr., SS, Woodland, CA/Woodland Christian School). PLU escaped the inning when Kelli Snyder (Jr., C, Longview, WA/Kelso HS) flied out to center field.

Courtney Galli (So., 2B/SS, Rocklin, CA/Rocklin HS) walked to open the bottom of the seventh. Heather Winslow (Fr., 1B, Oregon City, OR/Oregon City HS) sacrificed her to second with a bunt toward the pitching circle. A strikeout and a groundout ended the game.

Hagensen improved to 6-3 with the win. Watilo fell to 6-3 with the loss.

WU took a 1-0 advantage in the second game. Snyder scored the run in the bottom of the second after being hit by a pitch and stealing both second base and third base. She scored when Galli, who walked, was thrown out between first and second.

The Lutes tallied three runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth to take a 6-1 lead. In the fourth, Matsunaga hit an RBI double, while Califano added a two-run single. In the fifth, Gran belted an RBI double, while Hall and Nitta recorded RBI singles.

Goings tripled for PLU to start the sixth inning, and then scored on a throwing error when Haley Harshaw hit the ball to third base.

WU scored the game's final two runs in the home half of the sixth inning. Snyder, who doubled with one out, went on to score the first run. Galli was hit by a pitch and eventually crossed the plate.

Hall went 3 for 5 with an RBI for the Lutes. Goings finished 3 for 5 with a run scored. For Willamette, Snyder was 2 for 2 with two runs. The Lutes outhit the Bearcats, 15-4.

Leah Butters (1-2) threw five innings of middle relief to get the win for PLU. Three Lute pitchers combined for six strikeouts. Hayley Glantz (Fr., RHP, Reno, NVRobert McQueen HS) fell to 1-5 with the loss for Willamette.

The Bearcats will host the University of Puget Sound in a doubleheader on Sunday, March 11. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. (PDT).


Pacific Lutheran University 4
Willamette University 3

Pacific Lutheran University 7
Willamette University 3

Nichole Robertson was 1 for 3 with a run scored in the first game.

Nichole Robertson was 1 for 3 with a run scored in the first game.