Bearcats to Face Linfield in First Game of NWC Softball Tournament

Four Teams to Battle for Automatic Bid to NCAA Championship Bracket

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University will battle regular season champion Linfield College in the first game of the 2014 Northwest Conference Softball Tournament on Friday, April 18 at Del Smith Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m. (PDT).

In the second game of the tournament, Pacific University will take on Whitworth University at 1:30 p.m. Teams losing in the first two games will play each other at 4 p.m., while the winners will meet at 6:30 p.m. The double-elimination tournament will continue through Saturday.

The winner of the of the NWC Softball Tournament will receive the conference's automatic bid to the 2014 NCAA Division III Softball Championship.

Linfield earned the #1 seed and the right to host this weekend's event by winning the NWC regular season title at 25-3. The Wildcats, ranked #6 in NCAA Division III, are 31-7 overall.

Pacific is the #2 seed at 24-10, 19-9 in the NWC. Whitworth is seeded #3 at 26-14 overall, 18-10 in the NWC. Willamette earned the #4 seed with a record of 18-20 on the season, 14-14 in the NWC. The top four teams in the regular season standings qualified for tournament.

The Bearcats won just one of four games against Linfield this past weekend, but played well in two other games, before downing the Wildcats in the final game, 10-2 on the run rule in six inning. Linfield won the first three games, 4-1, 2-1, and 16-2 in five innings.

Willamette went 3-1 against Pacific in the regular season, but lost all four game against Whitworth. The series with Whitworth opened the NWC schedule for both teams back on Feb. 22 and Feb. 23.

Willamette University Bearcats

First baseman Heather Winslow (Jr., 1B, Oregon City, OR/Oregon City HS) tops the Willamette offense and ranks fourth in the NWC with a .425 batting average. She ranks first in the NWC with a .549 on-base percentage.

Wilson also leads the Bearcats with 48 hits, 36 runs, 16 walks, 15 hit by pitches, and a .602 slugging percentage.  She is second for WU with 10 doubles and is third with 22 RBIs.

Ashley Pender (So., 2B, Reno, NV/North Valley HS) is hitting .358 for WU with a team-high 33 RBIs and 11 doubles, to go along with 23 runs. Kayla Rieger (Jr., OF, Anacortes, WA/Anacortes HS) has batted .315, while scoring 16 runs, earning five doubles and going 14 for 19 on stolen bases.

Willamette has received a .309 batting average from Amanda Absher (Jr., C, Elk Grove, CA/Franklin HS), who has contributed nine extra-base hits, while walking 12 times and being hit by pitches 10 times.

Erin Norris (Jr., 3B/C, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) provides the Bearcats with a .295 average, 20 runs, 24 RBIs and a team-high five homers. Jenna King (Jr., OF, Camarillo, CA/Adolfo Camarillo HS) leads WU with 18 stolen bases on 18 attempts. Myranda Ramirez (Fr., OF, Sunnyvale, CA/Homestead HS) tops the squad with 25 runs and is 12 of 14 on stolen bases.

Freshman pitcher Jade Smith (Chico, CA/Chico HS) has supplied excellent work in the circle. She owns a 12-6 record with a 1.92 earned run average and 48 strikeouts in 123 2/3 innings. Hayley Glantz (Jr., P, Reno, NV/Robert McQueen HS) is 3-5 in 35 2/3 innings and Victoria Bradshaw (So., P, Discovery Bay, CA/Liberty HS) is 3-6 in 55 2/3 innings.

Linfield College Wildcats

Linfield's top hitter is Katie Brosig (Sr., SS) with a .440 batting average, which ranks third in the NWC. She has 51 hits, 34 runs and 28 RBIs. She ranks second for Linfield with 13 doubles. Ashley Garcia (Sr., 2B/3B) is hitting .417, while recording 48 hits, 43 RBIs and 11 doubles. She has three home runs.

Erin Kinney (Fr., 3B) has attained a .387 batting average with 13 runs, 17 RBIs, seven doubles and three homers. Haylie Watson (Sr., 1B) leads the Wildcats with six home runs.

Pitcher Karina Paavola (Sr.) owns a 16-3 record and a stellar 1.26 ERA. She has struck out 142 batters and allowed just 52 hits in 111 innings pitched. She has walked 25 batters, allowed 24 runs and given up 20 earned runs. Paavola's efforts have limited opponents to a .138 batting average.

Pacific University Boxers

Pacific is led by players with the top two batting averaged in the NWC. Rachel Roberts (So., 2B) ranks first with a .473 average. Her totals include 53 hits, 33 runs, 18 RBIs and a .534 on-base percentage. She has been successful on 45 of 48 stolen bases, helping Pacific go 113 of 131 overall.

Kylee Oshiro (Jr., C) holds a .449 batting average with a team-high 41 RBIs and a .684 slugging percentage. She has scored 19 runs, while earning seven doubles, two triples and four home runs.

Sara Aasness (Sr., P) is 12-4 on the season with a 3.20 ERA. She has pitched 109 1/3 innings, while compiling 69 strikeouts and 65 walks.

Whitworth University Pirates

Whitworth's Taylor Gilbert (Jr., DP) is batting .394 for the Pirates. Her stats include 25 RBIs, 17 runs and 01 doubles. She owns a .521 slugging percentage. Alyssa Hall (So. OF) is hitting .356 with 22 runs scored.

Shannon Wessel (Fr., 2B) has a .345 average and leads the team with 26 runs. She has 21 RBIs and is 16 of 81 on stolen bases. Julia Johnson (Sr., 1B) has nine homers and a .667 slugging percentage. She is batting .313.

Pitcher Madi Perez (Fr.) leads Whitworth with a 14-5 record. She has a 1.84 ERA in 106 2/3 innings. She has struck out 60 batters and allowed 32 walks.

Friday, April 18, 201

Game 1 -- 11 a.m.
#4 - Willamette University vs. #1 - Linfield College

Game 2 -- 1:30 p.m.
#3 - Whitworth University vs. #2 - Pacific University

Game 3 -- 4 p.m.
Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2

Game 4 -- 6:30 p.m.
Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Game 5 -- 11 a.m.
Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4

Game 6 -- 1:30 p.m.
Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5

Game 7 -- 4 p.m.
Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5
(If necessary)

Ashley Pender leads the Bearcats with 123 at bats and 11 doubles. She is batting .358 for the season.

Ashley Pender leads the Bearcats with 123 at bats and 11 doubles. She is batting .358 for the season.