SPOKANE, Wash. – Sacha Clow tripled in the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning to lift Whitworth to a softball doubleheader sweep of visiting Lewis & Clark on Sunday afternoon at Diana Marks Field.
The Pirates won 9-1 and 6-5 to improve to 15-15 overall and 8-10 in the Northwest Conference. The Pioneers fell to 2-25, 0-17.
The teams will complete the four-game series on Monday with a second doubleheader beginning at Noon. After Saturday's games were postponed, Monday's start was initially set for 10:00 a.m. based on the anticipation of not getting in two full games on Sunday.
Game 1 – Whitworth 9, Lewis & Clark 1 (6 innings)
Taylor Gilbert threw a six-inning three-hitter and Clow went 2-2 with two RBIs and three runs scored to lead the Pirates to a comfortable win in the series opener.
Clow tripled in the first run of the game and then scored on Ashley Greig's double to left to give the Pirates a 2-0 lead in the second inning.
L&C got a run back in the top of the third. Kelsey Buck scored an unearned run when Caitlin Basilio reached on a throwing error with two outs.
Clow scored her second run of the game in the fourth inning when the Pioneers tried to get her out at the plate on Hanna Boyd's soft grounder in front of the pitching circle. Sami Parr added an RBI double in the inning for a 4-1 Pirate lead.
Clow doubled home Whitworth's first run in the fifth and later scored on a wild pitch to make it a 6-1 lead.
The final three runs in the sixth inning came after the Pirates loaded the bases with one out. Julia Johnson was hit by a pitch to bring in the first run. Heather Hesselgesser singled off of the L&C pitcher allowing the next run to score. A lazy throw back to the circle allowed Jamie Brunner to score the game-clincher from third base.
Gilbert struck out three and walked none to improve to 7-1 this season. Parr, Hesselgesser and Grieg all joined Clow with a pair of hits.
Madison Hollenbeck (1-13) threw 4.0 innings for L&C and took the loss after allowing four runs on six hits. She struck out four and walked two. Jet'aime Mullins went 2-2 for the Pioneers at the plate.
Game 2 – Whitworth 6, Lewis & Clark 5
After the Pioneers rallied to tie the game in the top of the seventh inning, Clow drove in Hesselgesser with the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh to give the Pirates the sweep.
Brunner and Hesselgesser had RBI singles in the first inning to help Whitworth jump out to a 2-0 lead. But L&C tied the game in the top of the third on Mullins' two-run homer down the left field line, her first of the season.
The Pirates retook the lead in the bottom of the inning on Hesselgesser's second RBI single of the game, and made it 4-2 in the fourth when Jessica Ross drilled her third home run of the season off of the scoreboard in right center.
However the Pioneers tied the game again when Caitlin Relyea hit a two-run homer to straightaway center field in the top of the fifth.
The Pirates appeared to take a two-run lead in the bottom of the fifth when pinch-hitter Peyton McMahon delivered a two-out single that drove in two runs. But the L&C coaches appealed that McMahon's name was spelled differently on the lineup card than was announced on the PA, and that appeal was upheld by the umpires, who called McMahon out and returned the runners to the bases. Pinch runner Whitney Byrom scored on a wild pitch during the next at-bat to give Whitworth back the lead.
L&C tied the game in the seventh when Buck's soft grounder to third was thrown away, allowing Buck to reach second base. She eventually scored on a single by Relyea.
Hesselgesser led off the bottom of the seventh with a line drive that was dropped at third base. Clow then drilled a ball off of the wall in right center that bounced hard back toward the infield, allowing the speedy Hesselgesser to score the winning run easily from first base.
Gilbert started again in the second game, was relieved by Riley Fritz in the third inning, then returned in the fifth. Gilbert got the win to improve to 8-1 after giving up three runs on seven hits in a total of 5.1 innings. Fritz allowed two runs on two hits in 1.2 innings.
Hesselgesser went 3-4 with two RBIs and the game-winning run. Caylan Haehl also was 3-4 with a run scored for the Pirates.
Hollenbeck (1-14) took the loss in relief of starting pitcher Natalie Rose, who went 5.0 innings and allowed five runs on nine hits. Relyea led the Pioneers at the plate by going 2-3 with three RBIs.