Linfield, Ranked #6, Edges Bearcats, 4-1 and 2-1

Winslow Belts a Triple for Willamette in First Game

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

McMINNVILLE, ORE. -- Linfield College received strong pitching performances from Karina Paavola and Shelby VandeBergh, as the Wildcats held off Willamette University for a pair of Northwest Conference wins, 4-1 and 2-1, on Saturday, April 12 at Del Smith Stadium. Paavola tossed a two-hitter in the first game and VandeBergh threw a five-hitter in the second game.

Linfield, ranked #6 in NCAA Division III, upped its record to 30-6 overall, 24-2 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 16-18 on the season, 12-12 in th NWC.

The Bearcats received strong pitching as well. With the exception of three runs by the Wildcats in the second inning of the opener, the Bearcats held the high-powered Linfield offense in check.

Victoria Bradshaw (So., P, Discovery Bay, CA/Liberty HS) and Makayla Hari (Fr., P, Salem, OR/Blanchet Catholic HS) combined on a six-hitter in the first game. Jade Smith (Fr., P, Chico, CA/Chico HS) followed with a complete-game three-hitter, while allowing just one walk.

The Wildcats scored the first run of the doubleheader when pinch-runner Alex Andreotti scored on a bases-loaded single by Erin Carson with one out in the second inning. Katy Brosig walked to force in the second run. A single by Ashley Garcia drove in the third run. Carson was thrown out at home on the play.

Linfield's 3-0 lead remained intact until the Bearcats scored once in the top of the fourth. Heather Winslow (Jr., 1B, Oregon City, OR/Oregon City HS) tripled to start the inning and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by Ashley Pender (So., 2B, Reno, NV/North Valley HS).

The Wildcats returned to a three-run lead when Haylie Watson hit a solo homer with one out in the fifth inning.

Paavola struck out 12 batters and allowed just one walk. She upped her record to 17-3 on the season. Bradshaw earned three strikeouts in two innings, but gave up five walks and fell to 3-6. Hari allowed just three hits and one run while pitching four innings for the Bearcats.

Garcia of Linfield led all players on offense in the opener by going 2 for 4. Four Wildcats and two Bearcats each achieved one hit.

In the second game, Linfield tallied a run in the first inning and Willamette tied the score with a run in the third stanza.

Carson doubled with one out in the bottom of the first, and scored with two outs when Garcia reached base on an errant toss to first. Winslow singled with one out for the Bearcats in the third. She moved to second on a groundout, and reached the plate on a single by Pender.

Linfield moved in front in the bottom of the fifth, when Kenzie Schmoll scored an unearned run. With two outs Schmoll walked. An error by the catcher allowed Grace Middlestadt to reach base. Schmoll scored when Carson followed with a single. The Wildcats held onto the 2-1 lead to sweep the doubleheader.

Carson was 2 of 3 for the Wildcats in the second game, as she registered two of Linfield's three hits. Carson scored one run and drove in one run. Winslow recorded Willamette's only run and was one of five Bearcats with a hit during the game.

Willamette and Linfield will play another twinbill on Sunday, April 13, but the Bearcats will be playing at home. First pitch at the WU Softball Field is set for 12 p.m. (PDT).

BOX SCORES

Linfield College 4
Willamette University 1
Statistics

Linfield College 2
Willamette University 1
Statistics

Heather Winslow smacked a triple and went on to score in the first game. She hit a single in the second game.

Heather Winslow smacked a triple and went on to score in the first game. She hit a single in the second game.