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The Whitworthian

The Student News Site of Whitworth University

The Whitworthian

The Student News Site of Whitworth University

The Whitworthian

Softball splits against Willamette before rainout

The Whitworth softball team split the first two games of a four-game series against Willamette at home last weekend, before Sunday’s doubleheader was cancelled due to rain. The games have been rescheduled for Tuesday, April 16 at Marks Field beginning at noon.

Game one of Saturday’s doubleheader was a back-and-forth affair with Willamette striking first in top of the first inning. The Pirates fought back for a run in both the second and third inning, thanks to a sacrifice groundout to the pitcher by sophomore second baseman M’Liss Powles and an RBI double from senior designated hitter Jamie Brunner.

But the Bearcats countered to take a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the fifth when junior first baseman Julia Johnson walked with the bases loaded to tie the game 3-3 heading into the late stages. Sophomore pitcher Riley Fritz for the Pirates pitched the entire game up until the final out, when Willamette rallied for two runs to take game one.

Game two a close contest as well. The game was tied 2-2 after six innings, similar to game one (tied 3-3 heading into seventh). And just as they did in game one, the Bearcats managed to push two runs across in the seventh to take a 4-2 into the bottom half of the last frame. But this time, it was the Pirates who rallied.

Freshman pinch-hitter Alyssa Martinez entered the game with runners on second and third, and hit a chopper over the mound and into to center field. Both runners scored to tie the game, and it was followed by a Jamie Brunner RBI double which scored the game-winning run from first for the Pirates.

If Whitworth had lost to the Bearcats in game two on Saturday as well, it would have been more difficult to retain a playoff position. Whitworth kept their third place spot in the conference after the games against WIllamette.

The top four teams in the Northwest Conference move on to the NWC Tournament at the end of the season. Just behind the Pirates are Pacific (Ore.) and George Fox, who will be in contention with Whitworth for the final NWC Tournament spot this coming weekend.

The Pirates will host George Fox for a four game series this weekend beginning at noon on Saturday, then the two games against Willamette on Tuesday. The Pirates will need to win at least two of these final six games to guarantee a playoff spot. If they win more, they may be able to retain a three seed instead of a four seed heading into the Northwest Conference Tournament.

Contact Korey Hope at [email protected]

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Softball splits against Willamette before rainout