Pacific Lutheran Wins 1-0 in 11 Innings to Start Doubleheader Sweep

Sixth-Ranked Lutes Defeat Bearcats 8-0 in Second Game

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

TACOMA, WASH. -- Alex Watilo (Sr., RHP, Newcastle, CA/Del Oro HS) of Willamette University and Stacey Hagensen from Pacific Lutheran University battled in a lengthy pitchers' dual until the Lutes pushed across the game's only run in the 11th inning to defeat the Bearcats, 1-0, in the first game of a Northwest Conference doubleheader on Tuesday, April 10. The Lutes won the second game, 8-0, on the run rule in six innings.

Pacific Lutheran, ranked #6 in the latest NCAA Division III Poll released by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), upped its record to 30-10 overall, 20-4 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 18-10 on the season, 17-6 in the NWC. Both teams have clinched berths in the four-team NWC Tournament set for April 21-22.

The doubleheader was originally scheduled to be played on March 31, but was rained out and rescheduled for Tuesday.

Even with the delay of over a week, Watilo and Hagensen were prepared to take charge for both of their teams in the first game. Hagensen gave up nine hits, struck out five batters and did not allow a walk. Watilo, allowed eight hits, registered four strikeouts and walked three batters.

Perhaps the most telling statistic is that both pitchers kept both teams off the scoreboard through all seven regulation innings, plus three-and-a-half extra innings. Ultimately, neither pitcher deserved to lose, but Hagensen improved to 16-5, while Watilo fell to 12-4.

Willamette had the severall chances to score during the early innings of the opener. In the first inning, Heather Winslow (Fr., 1B, Oregon City, OR/Oregon City HS) doubled with two outs, but Hagensen forced a pop-up to get out of the threat.

The Bearcats had Jessica Barry (Jr., LF, Cupertinio, CA/Monte Vista HS/UNLV) at second and Nichole Robertson (Sr., RF, Elk Grove, CA/Franklin HS/Cosumnes River Coll.) at third with two outs in the third inning, but a 3-5-2 double play enable PLU to escape the inning.

In the fourth, Winslow doubled and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Theresa Martin (Fr., 3B, Modesto, CA/Johansen HS). Another double play saved the Lutes, as Kelli Snyder (Jr., C, Longview, WA/Kelso HS) flied out to left field for a possible sacrifice fly, but outfielder Montessa Califano threw Winslow out at the plate.

The Lutes left two runners on base in the fourth and fifth innings, as Watilo kept her half of the shutout intact.

After seven scoreless innings, PLU had a solid opportunity to score in the eighth. With one out, Amanda Goings singled. With two outs, Goings stole second base and Hagensen walked. Watilo forced a groundout to second base to end the inning.

Both teams had at least one base runner in both the ninth and 10th innings, but were unable to score. The Lutes began the bottom of the 11th with an infield single by Hagensen and a single down the left field line by Kaaren Hatlen. Melissa Harrelson used a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third. Hagensen scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly by Lindsey Matsunaga.

Winslow of Willamette was a perfect 4 for 4 at the plate in the first game. Hagensen finished the contest 2 of 4 for Pacific Lutheran.

In the second game, the Lutes pounded out 11 hits, including a home run by Haley Harshaw. PLU led 3-0 after three innings and 4-0 after five frames. The Lutes added four runs in the sixth inning to win on the run rule.

Hatlen walked and later scored in the second inning on a sacrifice bunt by Amanda Hall. In the third inning, Harshaw's homer added two runs to the lead. Goings scored an unearned run in the fifth inning, when she crossed the plate on a throwing error after Califano was thrown out at home on a fielder's choice for the second out of the inning.

The Lutes achieved five hits in the sixth inning to create the last four runs of the game. Katie Lowery and Califano each hit an RBI double, while Harshaw and Halten both recorded an RBI single.

Califano went 3 for 3 with two runs and an RBI for the Lutes. Harshaw added a 2-for-3 performance with two runs and three RBIs. Goings was 2 for 2 during the game.

Hatlen, who pitched the second game for PLU, limited Willamette two just two hits. She struck out five batters and allowed four walks, as she moved to 10-2 on the season. WU pitcher Hayley Glantz (Fr., RHP, Reno, NV/Robert McQueen HS) dropped to 6-6 with the loss.

Willamette will conclude the regular season with four Northwest Conference games against Linfield College, ranked #1 in NCAA Division III. The Bearcats will battle the Wildcats in a doubleheader at Linfield on Saturday, April 14, before hosting the Wildcats in a doubleheader at the WU Softball Field on Sunday, April 15. First pitch is slated for 12 p.m. (PDT) each day.

BOX SCORES

Pacific Lutheran University 1
Willamette University 0
11 innings
Statistics

Pacific Lutheran University 8
Whitworth University 0
Run Rule, 6 innings
Statistics
Alex Watilo pitched all 11 innings in Willamette's 1-0 loss to the Lutes in the opener.

Alex Watilo pitched all 11 innings in Willamette's 1-0 loss to the Lutes in the opener.