Willamette Outscores Pacific Lutheran, 11-5

Second Game Suspended with 2-2 Tie in Bottom of 1st Inning

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Jade Smith (Fr., Chico, CA/Chico HS) pitched a complete game and the Willamette University offense pounded out 15 hits, as the Bearcats outscored Pacific Lutheran University, 11-5, in the first game of a scheduled doubleheader on Saturday, March 8 at the WU Softball Field.

The second game was suspended with one out in the bottom of the first inning with the score tied, 2-2. No date has been determined for completing the suspended game.

With the win in the first game, Willamette upped its record to 5-6 overall, 4-5 in the Northwest Conference. PLU fell to 1-11 overall, 0-8 in the NWC.

Smith threw 120 pitches for the Bearcats to improve her record to 4-1 on the season. Willamette committed six errors and Smith scattered 10 hits, but Willamette held the Lutes to only five runs overall and just one earned run.

WU took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. With two outs, Ashley Pender (So., 2B, Reno, NV/North Valley HS) singled to right field. Amanda Absher (Jr., C, Elk, Grove, CA/Franklin HS) also singled. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch.

Erin Norris (Sr., C/3B, Salem, OR/South Salem, HS) walked to load the bases. Mallory Asaro (Fr., SS, Rocklin, CA/Rocklin HS) drove in Pender and Absher with a single through the left side.

PLU cut the margin to one run when Tori Hamura was hit by a pitch and eventually scored in the top of the second inning.

Willamette added a run in each of the next two innings for a 4-1 advantage. Jenna King drove in the run in the second stanza with a single, and Asaro brought home the next run with a double.

After the Lutes reduced the lead to 4-2 in the top of the fourth, the Bearcats responded with three runs on three hits and two errors in the bottom of the stanza. Heather Winslow (Jr., OF, Oregon City, OR/Oregon City HS) drove in the first run with a double to left field and scored on a throwing error at the end of the play.

In the top of the fifth, Pacific Lutheran countered with three runs of its own on three hits one one Willamette error. Only one of the three runs was earned, as the Lutes pulled within 7-5.

The Bearcats plated a run on a sacrifice fly by Pender in the fifth inning, and then took charge of the game with three runs in the sixth. All three runs scored on a bases-clearing double by Winslow with two outs.

Winslow led Willamette's attack by going 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles. She registered four RBIs and scored one run. Asaro went 3 for 4 with a double and three RBIs. Myranda Ramirez (Fr., OF, Sunnyvale, CA/Homestead HS) continued her strong play for the Bearcats, as she finished 2 for 3 with a walk and four runs.

Emily McConnell went 2 for 4 with a run and two RBIs for the Lutes, while Lindsey Matsunaga was 2 for 4. Two PLU players, Thalen Masada and Kelsey Robinson, each went 2 for 5. Starting pitcher Leah Butters threw three innings, but allowed four earned runs and fell to 0-6 on the season.

Robinson pitched the final three innings for the Lutes and gave up seven runs, with only three of the runs earned. PLU made four of its five errors while Robinson was pitching.

Willamette will play at George Fox University on Saturday, March 15. First pitch in Newberg, Ore., is set for 12 p.m. (PDT).

BOX SCORE

Willamette University 11
Pacific Lutheran University 5 (Final)

(Second game suspended with 2-2 tie in bottom of first inning)

Heather Winslow went 3 for 4 with two doubles, four RBIs and a run scored in Willamette's 11-5 win.

Heather Winslow went 3 for 4 with two doubles, four RBIs and a run scored in Willamette's 11-5 win.