Willamette and Pacific Split Doubleheader in Forest Grove

Bearcats Win Opener 12-3 on Run Rule; Boxers Take Second Game 8-6

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

FOREST GROVE, ORE. -- Willamette University pounded out 13 hits and freshman pitcher Jade Smith (Fr., P, Chico, CA/Chico HS) limited Pacific University to seven hits, as the Bearcats defeated the Boxers, 12-3 on the run rule in six innings to open a doubleheader on Saturday, March 1. In the second game, Pacific broke a 6-6 tie with two runs in the sixth inning to claim an 8-6 win.

Willamette ended the day at 2-6 overall, 1-5 in the Northwest Conference. Pacific moved to 8-2 overall, 3-1 in the NWC.

In Willamette's victory in the first game, Smith (Fr., P, Chico, CA/Chico HS) threw all 6 innings and recorded three strikeouts while allowing no walks. Heather Winslow (Jr., OF, Oregon City, OR/Oregon City HS) hit a 2-run homer in the third inning to give the Bearcats a 7-3 lead. Megan Winans of Pacific belted a solo homer in the second inning.

Sara Aasness of Pacific, who pitched the first 2 1/3 innings, took the loss for the Boxers, as her record dropped to 3-1.

Winslow's home run occurred one inning after the Bearcats took a 5-0 advantage in the top of the second.

WU achieved the five runs on five hits, two walks and one batter hit by a pitch. The offensive surge featured a three-run double by Amanda Absher (Jr., C, Elk Grove, CA/Franklin HS). Also earning an RBI were Jenna King (Jr., OF, Camarillo, CA/Adolfo Camarillo HS) and Ashley Pender (So., 2B, Reno, NV/North Valley HS), who each drove in a run with a single.

Pacific cut the margin to 5-3 with a trio of runs in the bottom of the second. The homer by Winans came with one out and produced the first run. Later, an infield error allowed the first of two unearned runs to score. The final run of the inning was scored by Kaitlyn Shikada on a single by Becca Moen.

Kayla Rieger (Jr., OF, Anacortes, WA/Anacortes HS) walked with one out, stole second and scored on Winslow's homer in the third inning. Three more walks, plus a single by Mallory Asaro (Fr., SS, Rocklin, CA/Rocklin HS) led to the final two runs of the inning, as WU took a 9-3 lead. Asaro received one RBI, while the second run scored during a run-down.

Willamette tacked on one run in the fifth on a sacrifice fly by Pender, and scored two times in the sixth. Both runs were brought home by Winslow with a single to left center.

In the second game, the Bearcats held a 5-1 lead after two and a half innings on the strength of a 5-run third stanza. The final two runs were scored on a double by Erin Norris (Jr., INF, Salem, OR/South Salem HS). Earlier in the inning, Steffany Dunn (Fr., INF, Colfax, CA/Colfax HS) singled, went to second on a sacrifice bunt, and crossed the plate when Rieger doubled.

Winslow batted next and singled, but Rieger was thrown out at the plate. Winslow took second base on the play and scored following back-to-back singles by King and Pender. King recorded the next run on a wild pitch.

Pacific scored three times in the bottom of the third -- on a homer by Kylee Oshiro -- and twice in the fourth inning to take a 6-5 lead. In the fourth frame, Jordan Schmerbauch scored on a single by Quirena Natividad, and Moen scored on a passed ball.

The Bearcats tied the game with a solo homer by Pender to lead off the fifth inning. The Boxers scored the game's final two runs in the sixth.

With two outs in the sixth, Moen singled up the middle. She stole second base, and then scored on a single by Rachel Roberts, who went to second on the throw. Natividad reached base on an error at third base, allowing Roberts to cross the plate.

King singled with one out in the seventh inning and Absher singled with two outs. Both runners were left on base when Norris flied out on a line drive to left field.

Allie Sims pitched all seven innings for Pacific to register the win. She struck out three batters and did not allow a walk. WU relief pitcher Makayla Hari (Fr., P, Salem, OR/Blanchet Catholic HS) received the loss and fell to 0-2.

Willamette will host George Fox University in a doubleheader on Sunday, March 2 at the WU Softball Field. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. (PST).


Willamette University 12
Pacific University 3
Run rule, 6 innings

Pacific University 8
Willamette University 6

Ashley Pender hit a solo home run in the second game. She finished the day 3 of 6 with four runs scored and four RBIs.

Ashley Pender hit a solo home run in the second game. She finished the day 3 of 6 with four runs scored and four RBIs.