Softball dominates Californian competition

by Andrew Goodwin|Sports Editor

Whitworth softball used every trick in their arsenal to win five of six games in California last week.

The Bucs swept doubleheaders with Cal Lutheran and Whittier before splitting their final pair of games with Chapman. The 5-1 weekend moved the Pirate’s overall record to 9-3 on the season.

Madi Perez, ‘17, led the way for Whitworth, totaling up 13 strikeouts in 20 innings spread out over the three doubleheaders. She allowed just six runs.

“When [Perez] pitches well, the rest of the team feeds off it,” third baseman Michelle Silva, ‘18, said. “We want to play just as strong as she is.”

For most of the weekend, Whitworth played as well as Perez threw. In their five wins, Whitworth made only two errors defensively, though the defense picked up four errors in a 10-3 loss to Chapman. On offense, the Bucs totaled up 30 runs across six games, including an 8-0 blowout of Chapman in Sunday’s early game.

Often, the offense scored their runs in bunches. They piled up five runs in the second inning of the blowout win and put six runs on the board in a 6-4 comeback victory over Whittier on Friday.

“The offense only takes one hit to get going,” senior outfielder Shannon Wessel said. “ It’s contagious.”

Pirate freshmen contributed to the offense with a nice weekend. Logan Miller, ‘20, scored the go-ahead run in the nightcaps against both Cal Lutheran and Whittier, and Kinsey McNaught, ‘20, couldn’t stop scoring. The freshmen right fielder crossed home plate six times, a fifth of the team’s weekend total.

“Our freshmen class is very strong,” Silva said. “The fact that they are so flexible defensively really strengthens our team and gives us so much depth.”

Next up, the Pirates have two weeks off before their first Northwest Conference series at home, weather-permitting, against Lewis and Clark Feb. 25-26.