Whitworth Scores Late, Sweeps Doubleheader in Softball, 5-2 and 9-3

Norris Goes 2 for 3 in First Game; Pender Finishes 2 for 3 in Second Game

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Whitworth University scored two runs in the top of the seventh inning to secure a 5-2 win in the first game, and then plated eighth runs in the top of the seventh in the second game to rally for a 9-3 victory, as the Pirates swept a doubleheader from Willamette University on Saturday, Feb. 22.

The wins at the WU Softball Field allowed Whitworth to improve to 9-3 on the season, 2-0 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette fell to 1-3 overall, 0-2 in the NWC. The Bearcats will host the Pirates in a second doubleheader on Sunday, Feb. 23, starting at 12 p.m. (PST).

In the first game, Whitworth held a slim 3-2 lead after six innings. Caylan Haehl started the seventh stanza with a single toward the circle. Two outs later, Peyton McMahon doubled down the left field line to score Haehl from first base. McMahon advanced to third and home on a pair of wild pitches.

Kayla Rieger (Jr., CF, Anacortes, WA/Anacortes HS) of Willamette walked with one out in the bottom of the seventh. The Bearcats were unable to produce a run, as Whitworth pitcher Madi Perez forced Heather Winslow (Jr., 1B, Oregon City, OR/Oregon City HS) and Ashley Pender (So., 2B, Reno, NV/North Valley HS) into back-to-back groundouts.

Erin Norris (Jr., DP/3B, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) was 2 for 3 with a double for Willamette in the opener. Pinch-runner Myranda Ramirez (Fr., OF, Sunnyvale, CA/Homestead HS) also scored for the Bearcats. Haehl finished the game 3 for 4 with three runs scored for Whitworth.

Perez threw all seven innings for Whitworth in the opener. She improved to 4-1 with the win after allowing just four hits and two unearned runs. Victoria Bradshaw (So., P, Discovery Bay, CA/Liberty HS) of Willamette also tossed a complete game. She gave up seven hits and five runs, but only the two runs in the seventh inning were earned. Bradshaw recorded five strikeouts.

The Bearcats scored one run in the first, third and fourth innings for a 3-0 advantage in the second game.

In the first, Rieger reached base on an error with one out and eventually scored on a single by Pender. In the third, Winslow walked with two outs, stole second and scored when Pender singled. In the fourth, Mallory Asaro (Fr., 3B/SS, Rocklin, CA/Rocklin HS) walked, went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Steffany Dunn (Fr., INF, Colfax, CA/Colfax HS) and scored on a double by Alex Shields (Fr., C, Lake Forest, CA/El Toro HS).

The Pirates put up their first run of the game in the top of the fifth. Makenzie Hope walked with one out. She reached third base on an infield hit followed by a throwing error, and scored on an illegal pitch.

Willamette remained in front 3-1 entering the seventh inning.

Shannon Wessel lined out to center field on a nice catch by Rieger for the first out. The next two batters reached base on infield errors to start Whitworth's rally. Taylor Gilbert drove in pinch-runner Megan John with a single to cut the lead to 3-2.

An infield single loaded the bases and Kayla Batastini followed with a fielder's choice toward shortstop. Willamette attempted to throw out the lead runner, but McMahon was called safe on a close play at the plate. Tessa Matthews walked to force in Gilbert with the go-ahead run. Two more runs scored when Hope followed with a single through the left side to give Whitworth a 6-3 lead.

One more run scored on an error and two runs crossed the plate on a single by Julia Johnson before Willamette got out of the inning. The Pirates recorded five hits and took advantage of three errors during the stanza.

Pender contributed two hits in three at bats for Willamette in the second game. She also drove in two runs. Reiger, Winslow and Asaro each scored once. Shields was 1 for 3 with a double.

McMahon went 2 for 5 with a run scored for the Pirates. She smacked a double during the game, giving her two for the doubleheader. Haehl was 2 for 4 and scored once in the second game, as she went 5 for 8 on the day.

Each team used three pitchers in the second game. Relief pitcher Riley Fritz earned the win for Whitworth and moved to 2-0 on the season. Hayley Glantz (Jr., P, Reno, NV/Robert McQueen HS) took the loss in relief for Willamette and fell to 0-2. Whitworth scored just one run that was earned against Willamette's team statistics.

BOX SCORES

Whitworth University 5
Willamette University 2
Statistics

Whitworth University 9
Willamette University 3
Statistics

Erin Norris was 2 for 3 in the first game with a double and a run scored.

Erin Norris was 2 for 3 in the first game with a double and a run scored.