The Student News Site of Whitworth University

The Whitworthian

The Student News Site of Whitworth University

The Whitworthian

The Student News Site of Whitworth University

The Whitworthian

Softball rebounds on Sunday for split against Pacific at home

The Whitworth softball team split its four-game series with Pacific (Ore.) last weekend at home, dropping Saturday’s doubleheader to the Boxers but fighting back with two extra-inning victories on Sunday. The Pirates are now 5-7 in Northwest Conference play this season.

“After Saturday’s losses we talked about how the want was lacking,” Whitworth head coach Cristal Brown said. “And they came back out today (Sunday) and showed great character.”

Game one of Saturday’s doubleheader saw Pacific’s freshman pitcher Marissa Reichard toss a three-hit shutout against the Pirates, while freshman first baseman Jesse Moore drove in two runs at the plate for the Boxers. Junior center fielder Becca Moen also had a solid game at the dish, going 3-4 and accounting for one of Pacific’s runs in their 4-0 victory.

In game two, the Pirates got off to quick start and took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning thanks to consecutive solo home runs from freshman third baseman Bailey Kasler and junior first baseman Julia Johnson. It was the second home run in as many weeks for each of them, after hitting back-to-back home runs last weekend against PLU.

Sophomore pitcher Taylor Gilbert scattered three hits over the first three innings for the Bucs until freshman right fielder Megan Winans opened the Pacific floodgates with an RBI triple scoring Reichard. The Boxers rallied to score seven more runs in the next three innings to take a commanding lead behind junior pitcher Sarah Aasness, who settled down after giving up the back-to-back home runs and held the Pirates to just one run on three hits after the fourth inning. Aasness improved to 3-1 on the year with the 8-3 Boxer victory.

So far this year in conference play, the Bucs have only been victorious in one out of six Saturday games, but have been fighting back on Sunday to win four out of six. The Pirates have had a total of four runs on 15 hits in those previous four Saturday games, while gathering 31 runs on 39 hits in their previous four Sunday games.

That line continued last weekend and Whitworth came back on Sunday to take both games from Pacific while scoring 17 runs on 24 hits. The first game, however, was a low-scoring affair. Sophomore pitcher Megan Fisher had a strong performance in the circle for the Pirates, going 6.1 innings giving up five hits and one run. But the one run was enough for the Boxers to take the game into extra innings with a 1-1 tie after seven frames of play.

In the eighth inning, sophomore pitcher Riley Fritz handled the Boxers from the circle for the Pirates and sophomore center fielder Sacha Clow delivered a game-winning triple scoring senior right fielder Heather Hesselgesser. Fritz picked up the win to improve to 6-2 on the season.

Game two of Sunday’s doubleheader also went into extra-innings, but that was one of very few similarities between it and game one; the two teams combined for 29 runs and 33 hits in nine innings of play. The Boxers started off the game with a seven-run first inning to put the Pirates in an early hole. Pacific’s lead got as high as eight runs when it was 10-2 after three and a half innings, but the Bucs went on to score 12 runs in three innings including a five-run bottom of the seventh to force extras.

After the team had left 12 runners on base through the first eight innings, junior left fielder Makenzie Hope came through with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth with a ground ball to the Pacific freshman shortstop Rachel Roberts. Roberts bobbled the ball and then delivered an errant toss toward third base that flew past sophomore third baseman Kaitlyn Shikada, allowing Fritz to score and give the Pirates a 15-14 win.

“It was a rough start but we all knew that we could come back,” Hope said. “We weren’t going to go down without a fight.”

Senior designated hitter and first baseman Jamie Brunner registered a team-high six hits with three RBIs on the weekend. She leads the Pirates in hits so far for the season with 23, which is also one short of the conference-best marks of 24 by George Fox freshman Kayla Anderson and Lewis & Clark freshman Hannah Dal pra.

“I’m at a point where I’ve seen most of these pitchers before,” Brunner said. “So I go up to the plate with a mentality that no pitcher in this league will out-duel me.”

Pacific moves to 7-5 in Northwest Conference play, trailing only Linfield (6-2) and George Fox (9-3).

Whitworth moves to 5-7 in NWC games this year, after already having played the two nationally-ranked teams the Northwest Conference has to offer in Linfield and PLU. And moving ahead, the Bucs are confident about their chances in the rest of the regular season.

“Finding some consistency is going to be key for the rest of our season,” Brunner said. “If we keep playing like we did today (Sunday), then special things are going to happen.”

The Pirates will go on the road to face the University of Puget Sound (0-8) for a pair of doubleheaders beginning at noon on March 16-17 in Tacoma, Wash.

Contact Korey Hope at [email protected]

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Whitworthian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Whitworth University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Whitworthian

Comments (0)

All The Whitworthian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Softball rebounds on Sunday for split against Pacific at home