George Fox Downs Bearcats, 14-5, in First Game of Doubleheader

Second Game Suspended with Bruins Leading in 7th Inning

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

SALEM, ORE. -- George Fox University broke open a 4-2 game with five runs in the sixth inning on its way to a 14-5 victory over Willamette University in the first game of a Northwest Conference doubleheader on Wednesday, April 9 at the WU Softball Field. The second game was suspended in the top of the seventh inning due to darkness with GFU leading 9-2.

The win in the opener upped GFU's record to 22-12, including 11-11 in the NWC. The Bruins set a school record for wins, breaking the record of 21-8 set in 1994. Willamette fell to 16-15 overall, 12-9 in the NWC.

No date has been selected to complete the second game. Both games were previously rescheduled after being postponed due to rain on March 2.

George Fox took a quick 2-0 lead in the opener, when leadoff batter Felicia Chavez hit a solo home run to right field and Kayla Anderson belted a solo homer to left field two batters later.

Willamette cut the margin to 2-1 in the bottom of the first. With one out, Jenna King (Jr., OF, Camarillo, CA/Adolfo Camarillo HS) walked and Ashley Pender (So., 2B, Reno, NV/North Valley HS) doubled. Amanda Absher (Jr., C, Elk Grove, CA/Franklin HS) walked to load the bases.

King was forced out at home when Erin Norris (Jr., 3B/C, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) hit into a fielder's choice. GFU tried for a 5-2-3 double play, but the ball was dropped at first, allowing Pender to score. A flyout ended the inning.

The Bruins scored an unearned run in the second inning and tacked on an earned run in the fifth for a 4-1 edge. In the fifth, Kat Hylton doubled with two outs and scored two batters later on a single by Amanda Woods.

Absher opened the bottom of the fifth by smacking a solo home run to center field. It was her second homer of the season.

GFU started to pull away with five runs in the sixth. The Bruins had five hits during the stanza, including a 3-run homer by Chavez. The Bruins used four hits and one error to tally five unearned runs in the seventh inning for a 14-2 lead. Two of the runs scored on a single by Baylee Westrick.

The Bearcats fought back for three runs. With two outs and runners at first and second, Victoria Bradshaw (So., P/DP, Discovery Bay, CA/Liberty HS) drove in Absher and Norris with a double to left. Alex Shields (Fr., C, Lake Forest, CA/El Toro HS) brought home Bradshaw with a pinch-hit single.

Steffany Dunn (Fr., INF, Colfax, CA/Colfax HS) re-entered for Shields. Alexia Pratt (Fr., OF, Roseville, CA/Woodcreek HS) singled and went to second on the throw, as Dunn reached third base. A groundout ended the game.

George Fox amassed a 15-11 edge in hits. Chavez went 4 for 5 with two homers, two runs and five RBIs. Anderson was 3 for 4 with a homer, three runs and three RBIs. For WU, Absher went 3 for 3 with a homer, a walk, two runs and an RBI.

Erin Hento, who began pitching for GFU with no outs and two runners on base in the third, tossed four frames and improved to 12-6 with the win. WU starter Jade Smith (Fr., P, Chico, CA/Chico HS) went 5 1/3 innings. She gave up six runs (five earned) and seven hits. Smith fell to 11-4 on the season.

In game two, the Bruins again led 2-1 after one inning. GFU extended the margin to 5-1 after two innings and 6-2 after three. The Bruins were in front 9-2 with runners at first and third and two outs in the top of the seventh when the game was suspended. GFU owned a 14-5 advantage in hits.

Statistics from the second game will be official once the game is completed.

Willamette's next scheduled action is a doubleheader at Linfield College on Saturday, April 12. First pitch in McMinnville, Ore., is set for 12 p.m. (PDT).

BOX SCORES

George Fox University 14
Willamette University 5
Statistics

George Fox University 9
Willamette University 2
(Suspended with two outs
in top of 7th inning; Stats
will be available after the
final inning is completed)

Amanda Absher went 3 for 3 in the first game with a homer, two runs and one RBI.

Amanda Absher went 3 for 3 in the first game with a homer, two runs and one RBI.