SPOKANE, Wash. – Despite trailing by three runs in the first inning of both games, Whitworth completed its four-game sweep of a Northwest Conference softball series with visiting Lewis & Clark on Monday afternoon at Diana Marks Field.
Sacha Clow tied a school record in the second game, Julia Johnson went 5-5 in the two games and Riley Fritz picked up a pair of pitching victories to help the Pirates improve to 17-15 overall and 10-10 in the NWC. After a 3-14 start, Whitworth has won 14 of its last 15 games. Lewis & Clark fell to 2-27, 0-19.
Whitworth will head to Willamette next weekend for another four-game NWC series.
Game 1 – Whitworth 8, Lewis & Clark 4
Fritz pitched 6.1 innings of one-hit relief and Sami Parr hit two home runs to lead the Pirates back from a 3-0 deficit.
The Pioneers jumped to a 3-0 lead against Whitworth starting pitcher Tayor Gilbert. Caroline DeVincenzi doubled in the first run and scored on Moriah Lane's RBI single. Lauren Lovato singled home the final run of the inning. Fritz was brought in to pitch to Megan Andre with the bases loaded and she got the strikeout to end the inning.
Whitworth got all three runs back in the bottom of the inning. Parr led off with the first of her two homers in the game. Two batters later Jamie Brunner drilled a homer to right center to cut the lead to one. Finally pinch runner Whitney Byrom scored on a sacrifice fly by Jessica Ross.
The Pirates added a run in the second to take a 4-3 lead. Whitworth added two more in the fourth, beginning with Parr's second home run of the game. Heather Hesselgesser drove in the second run of the inning with a single to left field.
Hesselgesser added an RBI triple in the sixth and then scored on Sacha Clow's single to left for an 8-3 Whitworth lead.
Meanwhile Fritz was retiring 14 L&C batters in a row until a one-out walk in the sixth inning. The only hit off of Fritz was Jet'aime Mullins' home run in the top of the seventh inning, her second of the series.
Fritz improved to 8-10 after giving up one run on one hit in 6.1 innings. She struck out four and walked one. Hesselgesser went 3-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Parr finished 2-3 with two RBIs and three runs scored. Johnson went 3-3, while Brunner finished 2-3 with two runs scored and an RBI.
Hallie Knife (0-1) took the loss in relief for L&C. She allowed three runs on four hits in 2.1 innings. Mullins had an RBI and scored two runs in the game. No Pioneer batter had more than one hit.
Game 2 – Whitworth 14, Lewis & Clark 6 (5 innings)
Clow tied a Whitworth single-game record with six runs batted in, while Johnson added five RBIs as the Pirates pulled away for the series sweep in a game shorted to five innings by the NCAA's eight-run rule.
The Pioneers jumped all over Fritz in the top of the first. After a walk to Mullins and a sacrifice, DeVincenzi tripled to drive in the first run and then scored on Caitlin Relyea's double to right field. Lane followed with her own double that drove in Relyea. Fritz got the final two outs on ground balls to first.
The Pirates scored four of their own in the bottom of the inning. After Caylan Haehl reached on an error with one out, Brunner doubled her home for the first run. After a walk and a ground out, Clow hammered a home run down the left field line for a 4-3 Whitworth lead. All four runs were unearned because of the initial error in the inning.
L&C retook a 5-4 lead in the third when Lane hit her fifth homer of the season to drive in DeVincenzi. But the Pirates responded with two of their own in the bottom of the inning on Johnson's RBI double and a ground ball to third by Clow that drove in Byrom.
The Pioneers tied the game one final time in the top of the fourth when Taylor Gatti scored on a wild pitch.
Whitworth broke the game open in the bottom of the fourth with five runs. Johnson's long single to the wall with the bases loaded drove in three runs. Two batters later Clow singled up the middle to drive in two more runs, giving her six RBIs in the game.
The Pirates ended the game in the fifth. Three singles loaded the bases. Then Brunner and Johnson drew bases-loaded walks to force in the first two runs. The final run came home on Ashlyn Mundo's single.
Clow's six RBIs tied Laura Romag (2005) and Amber Fowler (2007) for most in a single game by a Whitworth player. Coincidentally, both of the previous times also came against Lewis & Clark.
Clow finished the game 2-3 at the plate, while Johnson was 2-2 with her career-high of five RBIs. Johnson went 5-5 at the plate on Monday. Brunner was close behind, going 4-5 on Monday, 2-2 in the second game with two RBIs and three runs scored. Hanna Boyd also had a pair of hits and a pair of runs scored for the Bucs.
Fritz went the distance to improve to 9-10. She allowed six runs on six hits.
Madison Hollenbeck (1-15) started the game and took the loss for L&C. She allowed 11 runs on six hits and four walks in 3.2 innings of work. Lane went 2-3 with three RBIs to lead L&C at the plate. DeVincenzi scored a pair of runs for the Pioneers.