Willamette to Face George Fox and Pacific This Weekend

Bearcats Travel to Newberg Saturday, Return Home to Play Boxers Sunday

By Timothy Walsh, Assistant Athletics Communications Director

SALEM, ORE. -- Having won four of their last five games -- including three in a row -- the Willamette University softball team will play a pair of critical Northwest Conference doubleheaders this weekend.

On Saturday, the Bearcats will take the short trip north to Newberg, Ore. for a matchup with George Fox University. On Sunday, Willamette will face Pacific University at the Willamette Softball Field. Both doubleheaders will start at noon.

While there will be no media coverage of the series at George Fox, the Bearcat Network will provide a Live Video Webcast along with Live Stats for the doubleheader against Pacific.

The Bearcats enter the weekend with a 5-6 overall record, including 4-5 in the NWC. Willamette climbed into fifth place in the NWC after going 3-0 last weekend.

WU swept a doubleheader against the University of Puget Sound on Friday, before taking the only completed game against Pacific Lutheran University on Saturday. The second game against the Lutes was suspended due to rain with the score tied at two in the bottom of the first inning.

Heather Winslow (Jr., OF, Oregon City, OR/Oregon City HS) was honored as the NWC Softball Hitter Student-Athlete of the Week for her efforts against the Loggers and Lutes. She accumulated a .700 batting average with three doubles and five RBIs over the weekend.

For the season, Winslow leads the Bearcats with a .621 batting average. She also ranks atop the team in slugging percentage (.862), on-base percentage (.711), doubles (4), RBIs (11) and stolen bases (9).

Erin Norris (Jr., C/3B, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) ranks second on the team with a .387 batting average and three doubles, while Ashley Pender (So., 2B, Reno, NV/North Valley HS) owns a .361 batting average.

As always, Willamette has been aggressive running the bases. The Bearcats have been successful on 29 of 36 attempted steals, led by Winslow, who is 9 of 11. Kayla Rieger (Jr., OF, Anacortes, WA/Anacortes HS), is 7 of 10, while Jenna King (Jr., OF, Camarillo, CA/Adolfo Camarillo HS) is a perfect 6 of 6.

Freshman pitcher Jade Smith (Chico, CA/Chico HS) is 4-1 on the season with a 1.54 earned run average. She has struck out 16 batters in 36 1/3 innings pitched. 

George Fox is 10-2 on the season and 4-2 (4th place) in the NWC. The Bruins are hitting .332 while their opponents are batting .261.

The top hitter for the Bruins is freshman Baylee Westrick with a .452 batting average. She has four home runs, five doubles, and 15 RBIs this season. Kayla Anderson, a sophomore, is hitting .441 with four homers, 15 RBIs and 14 runs scored.

A pair of seniors lead the Bruins' pitching staff. Allyssa DenDekker (3-1) has achieved a 1.17 ERA, allowing just five runs over 30 innings pitched while holding opponents to a .209 batting average. Erin Hento (4-1) has a 2.62 ERA over 32 innings pitched. She has 27 strikeouts on the year.

Pacific, which will play two games against #11 Linfield College (12-0, 12-0 NWC) on Saturday, heads into the weekend with an 11-4 record, including 6-3 in the NWC (3rd place). The Boxers lost two games by one run each to Linfield last weekend.

Key hitters for the Boxers include Rachel Roberts and Becca Moen, who each are batting .442 at the plate. Kylee Oshiro (.429) Ashley Mitchell (.419) and Emmie Moser (.407) are also batting over .400 for Pacific. The Boxers have a team batting average of .359.

The Pacific pitching staff has a 5.93 ERA. Allie Sims and Sara Aasness have started all 15 games for the Bearcats. Sims is 7-1 with a 5.14 ERA, while Aasness is 4-2 with a 6.45 ERA.

At least one face in the Boxers dugout will be familiar to Bearcat fans, as Liz (Gilgan) Yandall ('08) is in her first season as Pacific's recruiting coordinator. Yandall previously spent six years as an assistant at Willamette after playing four years for the Bearcats.

FOLLOW THE GAMES

Saturday, March 15
Willamette vs. George Fox
No media coverage

Sunday, March 16
Willamette vs. Pacific
Live Audio Webcast
Live Stats
Coverage starts at 11:45 a.m.

Junior Erin Norris has started all 11 games for the Bearcats. She ranks second on the team with a .387 batting average.

Junior Erin Norris has started all 11 games for the Bearcats. She ranks second on the team with a .387 batting average.