Linfield Defeats Bearcats in NWC Doubleheader

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

SALEM, ORE -- Linfield College, ranked 8th in the NCAA Division III Poll released by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), produced a solid offensive display against Willamette University on Wednesday, April 3, as the Wildcats defeated the Bearcats, 16-5 and 18-3, at the WU Softball Field. Both games ended on the run rule in five innings.

In the opener, Linfield held a 7-5 lead after two innings, before pulling away with seven runs in the third stanza. The Wildcats struck early in the second game, as Linfield plated 12 runs in the first inning.

Willamette managed just four hits in the opener and had five hits in the second game.

Linfield scored fours runs in the first inning of the doubleheader. Grace Middelstadt singled and eventually scored on a single by Karleigh Prestianni. Two batters later, Ashley Garcia provided the big hit of the inning with a three-run homer to left field. Prestianni and Megan Wallo, who reached base on an error, also scored on Garcia's home run.

The Wildcats plated three runs on four hits and an error in the second inning. Lisa Yamamoto hit an RBI single and Erin Carson belted an RBI double.

Willamette battled back with five runs in the bottom of the stanza, as the Bearcats tallied all five runs without a hit.

Karina Paavola, the starting pitcher for Linfield, walked three Willamette players and hit two batters, while the Wildcats committed two errors. Heather Winslow (So., 1B/RF, Oregon City, OR/Oregon City HS) earned an RBI on a bases-loaded walk, while Ashley Pender (Fr., 2B, Reno, NV/North Valley HS) received an RBI when she was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

In the third inning, the Wildcats scored seven runs and recorded eight hits to take control of the game with a 14-5 lead. The Wildcats earned the final two runs of the game in the fifth inning on a two-run homer by Haylie Watson.

Middlestadt and Carson each went 3 for 3 for Linfield. Middlestadt scored three runs and achieved one RBI, while Carson scored twice and drove in two runs. The Wildcats finished with 18 hits.

Four players for Willamette recorded one hit apiece. They were Galli, Kelli Snyder (Sr., C, Longview, WA/Kelso HS), Yvonne Drabin (Sr., CF, Fremont, CA/Moreau Catholic HS) and McKenzie Wasley.

Linfield put across 12 runs on 11 hits in the first inning of the second game. Two runs scored with one out on a single by Lisa Yamamoto. The remaining runs were achieved with two outs. Key hits included a three-run homer by Prestianni and solo homers by Yamamoto and Garcia.

The Wildcats increased their lead to 16-0 with four runs in the third inning on a grand slam home run by Watson.

In the bottom of the third, Snyder and Galli were hit by pitches with two outs, and Amanda Fernandes (So., UT, Elk Grove, CA/Franklin HS) received a walk. Erin Bueser (Fr., 1B/P, Mill Creek, WA/Henry M. Jackson HS) drove in two runs with a single up the middle. A groundout by Drabin ended the inning.

Linfield brought in two runs in the fourth inning, while the Bearcats scored once in the bottom of the stanza. For WU, Allison Martin (Jr., OF, Thousand Oaks, CA/Westlake HS) tripled down the right field line and scored on a groundout by Jenna King (So., OF, Camarillo, CA/Adolfo Camarillo HS).

The Wildcats amassed 20 hits in the game, led by four players with three hits apiece. Yamamoto was 3 for 3, while Middlestadt, Wallo and Garcia each went 3 for 4.

Martin and Galli both finished 1 for 2 with a run scored for Willamette. Bueser was 1 for 2 with a walk and two RBIs.

Prior to the game, WU honored its four seniors on the team -- Drabin, Galli, Snyder and Hope Kloczko (Sr., C, Cameron Park, CA/Oak Ridge HS).

Willamette will return to action with a four-game series at Whitworth University this weekend. The Bearcats and the Pirates will play a doubleheader on Saturday, April 6, starting at 12 p.m. (PDT). The teams will complete the series with another doubleheader on Sunday, April 7 at 12 p.m.

BOX SCORES

Linfield College 16
Willamette University 5
Run Rule, 5 innings
Statistics

Linfield College 18
Willamette University 3
Run Rule, 5 innings
Statistics

Photo gallery
(By Naomi Stukey, Photographer for Willamette Athletics)

Courtney Galli provided the Bearcats with a hit in both games. She was 2 for 5 during the doubleheader.

Courtney Galli provided the Bearcats with a hit in both games. She was 2 for 5 during the doubleheader.