Whitworth Defeats Willamette, 8-7 in 8 innings and 8-6

Fernandes and Pender Each Hit a Homer for Bearcats

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

SPOKANE, WASH. -- Whitworth University rallied from a 7-4 deficit in the first game of a doubleheader on Tuesday, April 16 to defeat Willamette University, 8-7 in eight innings. Whitworth then held off Willamette in the second game, building an 8-4 lead that almost disappeared, before the Pirates won the second game, 8-6.

With the wins, Whitworth improved to 22-18 on the season, 16-12 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette ended its season with a 14-24 record, including 10-18 in the NWC.

The Pirates claimed the #3 seed in the four-team NWC Tournament, set fir April 20-21 at Linfield College. Whitworth will open up against the #2 seed, Pacific Lutheran University. In the other first round match-up, Linfield, seeded #1, will take on Pacific University, seeded #4.

No one scored in the first two innings of the opener, but Willamette plated two runs in the third. Heather Winslow (So., RF, Oregon City, OR/Oregon City HS) walked. Two outs later, Amanda Fernandes (So., UT, Elk Grove, CA/Franklin HS) recorded her fifth homer of the year, a blast over the left field fence.

Whitworth cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the third, when Makenzie Hope doubled to drive in M'Liss Powles with two outs.

Ashley Pender (Fr., 2B, Reno, NV/North Valley HS) of Willamette, who went 5 for 10 on the day, belted a two-out, bases-loaded triple to right center in the top of the fourth, giving the Bearcats a 5-1 lead. In Whitworth's next at bat, Julia Johnson smacked a three-run homer to pull the Pirates within 5-4.

Willamette added two runs in the fifth. Fernandes singled, and then went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Courtney Galli (Jr., 3B/1B, Rocklin, CA/Whitney HS). Yvonne Drabin (Sr., CF, Fremont, CA/Moreau Catholic HS) reached base on a error by pitcher Taylor Gilbert. A throwing error by Gilbert on the same play allowed Fernandes and Drabin to score.

For Whitworth in the sixth, Johnson provided an RBI single and Bailey Kasler added a sacrifice fly, cutting the lead to 7-6. In the seventh, an error allowed Hope to get on base. She advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Caylan Haehl, moved to third on a groundout, and scored on a hit by Heather Hesselgesser.

Jenna King (So., OF, Camarillo, CA/Adolfo Camarillo HS) hit a single with one out in the top of the eighth for Willamette, but she was left on base following two strikeouts by relief pitcher Riley Fritz.

Johnson walked in the bottom of the eighth, and Hanna Boyd pinch-ran. She moved to second on a single by Kasler and went to third on a bunt single by Jessica Ross. Boyd scored the winning run on a single to left field by Powles.

Whitworth earned 10 hits and Willamette had nine hits during the game.

Pender doubled and Snyder singled to put Willamette on the scoreboard in the first inning of the second game. The Pirates countered with RBI singles from Hesselgesser and Johnson in the bottom of the inning.

A leadoff homer by Pender tied the game in the third, and Willamette took a 4-2 lead by scoring twice in the fourth. Winslow walked and later scored on a triple by King. Pender drove in King with a single to center field.

The Pirates scored three runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth with four hits in both innings. Hesselgesser drove in three of the runs.

Willamette put up a rally in the seventh. Galli and Drabin hit back-to-back infield singles. Erin Norris (So., 3B, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) drove in Galli with a double to center field. Drabin was thrown out a home trying to score on the play. Winslow then received her second walk of the game.

Erin Bueser (Fr., P, Mill Creek, WA/Henry M. Jackson HS) grounded out, moving Winslow and pinch-runner Allison Martin (Jr., OF, Thousand Oaks, CA/Westlake HS) up one base. King rapped an RBI single to center to score Martin. Pender grounded out to end the game.

Gilbert, who pitched the final 3 2/3 innings for Whitworth, improved to 6-8 with the win. Fritz upped her record to 13-6 with the win in game one. Hope went 5 for 6 on the day for the Pirates with three runs scored. Johnson was 4 of 7 overall, and registered four RBIs in the first game. Hesselgesser earned four RBIs in game two and went 3 for 7 during the doubleheader.

Pender's five hits and five RBIs led the Bearcats. King and Drabin each finished the day 4 for 8. Hayley Glantz (So., P, Reno, NV/Robert McQueen HS) fell to 8-16 with both losses. Both teams had 12 hits game two.

Kelli Snyder (Sr., C, Longview, WA/Kelso HS) of Willamette recorded one hit and three walks during the doubleheader. She concluded the season as the team's top hitter with a .436 batting average.

BOX SCORES

Whitworth University 8
Willamette University 7
8 innings
Statistics

Whitworth University 8
Willamette University 6
Run rule, 5 innings
Statistics

Ashley Pender went 5 for 10 during the doubleheader with 5 RBIs. She hit a triple in the first game and blasted a double and a homer in the second game.

Ashley Pender went 5 for 10 during the doubleheader with 5 RBIs. She hit a triple in the first game and blasted a double and a homer in the second game.