Softball | Friday, March 7, 2014
Bearcats Take Two from Puget Sound, 2-1 and 6-2
Ramirez Scores Winning Run in First Game on Walk-off Single by Pender
SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University trailed the University of Puget Sound 1-0 with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning in the first game of a doubleheader on Friday, March 7. The Bearcats had just three hits -- all singles -- to that point in the game, but Myranda Ramirez (Fr., OF, Sunnyvale, CA/Homestead HS) provided a spark with a triple to center field.
Ramirez went on to score the tying run later in the inning. In the bottom of the seventh, Ramirez walked with one out and eventually scored the winning run with two outs on a walk-off single by Ashley Pender (So., 2B, Reno, NV/North Valley HS), as the Bearcats edged the Loggers, 2-1. Willamette won the second game, 6-2, to sweep the doubleheader at the WU Softball Field.
The Bearcats advanced their record to 4-6 overall and to 3-5 in the Northwest Conference. Puget Sound dropped to 0-7 on the season, with all seven games in the NWC.
Puget Sound scored the first run of the opener in the top of the second. Jenica Holt started the inning with a single through the left side. She moved to second on a sacrifice bunt toward first by Chelsea Lindroth. On the next play, Holt stayed at second as Olivia Turner flied out to shallow center field.
WU shortstop Mallory Asaro (Fr., SS, Rocklin, CA/Rocklin HS) was injured on the play when she collided with center fielder Alexia Pratt (Fr., OF, Roseville, CA/Woodcreek HS) and Pender. Asaro returned to action in the second game.
When play resumed following the injury, Taylor Jones of UPS singled to center field, allowing Holt to score.
Neither team scored during the next six half-innings. Two flyouts on the infield started the home half of the fifth, before Ramirez sent the third pitch she faced into center field. As the ball rolled near the outfield fence, Ramirez rounded first and second and reached third safely.
Heather Winslow (Jr., OF, Oregon City, OR/Oregon City HS) walked and later stole second base. Jenna King (Jr., OF, Camarillo, CA/Adolfo Camarillo HS) reached base on a fielding error by the shortstop, which allowed Ramirez to tie the game, 1-1. A groundout by Pender ended the inning.
Pitcher Jade Smith (Fr., P, Chico, CA/Chico HS) of Willamette faced just three batters in the sixth inning and three in the seventh, as she kept the score tied.
Alex Shields (Fr., C, Lake Forest, CA/El Toro HS) pinch-hit for WU to start the seventh inning. She singled and gave way to Steffany Dunn (Fr., INF, Colfax, CA/Colfax HS), who re-entered the game. Pratt sacrificed, Ramirez walked and Winslow singled to load the bases. Dunn was thrown out at home when King hit into a fielder's choice. Pender singled up the middle to drive in Ramirez with the winning run.
Smith, now 3-1, was the winner. She struck out three batters, allowed no walks and gave up four hits. Jaci Young, 0-3, suffered the loss for Puget Sound.
The Loggers took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning of game 2. Holt hit an infield single to third to begin the stanza. A single by Jones and a sacrifice bunt by Lisa Colombo advanced Holt to third. She scored on a single by Megan Campbell.
Willamette moved in front with two runs in the third inning, and then added a run in the fourth and two more in the fifth. In the third inning, Kayla Rieger (Jr., OF, Anacortes, WA/Anacortes HS), Ramirez and Winslow started things off with three singles. Rieger, who stole second base, scored when the single by Ramirez was misplayed in center field.
Ramirez went to third on the hit by Winslow. After Winslow stole second, King hit a bunt single, loading the bases. One out later, Amanda Absher (Jr., C, Elk Grove, CA/Franklin HS) was hit by a pitch, forcing in Ramirez for a 3-1 lead.
In the fourth inning, Rieger walked, stole second base and scored on a double by Winslow. In the fifth frame, Erin Norris (Jr., C/3B, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) and Asaro each scored unearned runs.
Both teams tacked on one run in the sixth. Campbell drove in Jones with two outs for UPS, but the Loggers left runners at second and third when Turner flied out. Ramirez scored on a single by Pender in the bottom of the inning.
WU starter Victoria Bradshaw (So., P, Discovery Bay, CA/Liberty HS) evened her record at 1-1 with the win. She pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed two runs and five hits -- all singles. Makayla Hari (Fr., P, Salem, OR/Blanchet Catholic HS) earned her second save with two strikeouts and no hits in 1 1/3 innings.
Ramirez finished the day 2 for 4 with four runs and two walks for WU. Winslow was 4 for 6 with a walk and an RBI. Taylor Jones of UPS went 3 for 5 with one RBI. Campbell was 2 for 3 with two RBIs in the second game.
The Bearcats will play at home on Saturday, March 8 against Pacific Lutheran University in an NWC doubleheader. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. (PST).