SALEM, Ore. – Whitworth's bats never could get untracked against Willamette pitching in 3-2 and 11-3 softball loses on Saturday at the Willamette Softball Field.
The Pirates fell to 17-19 overall and 10-14 in the NWC while the Bearcats improved to 18-8, 17-4. Whitworth will close out the regular season next weekend at George Fox. If the Bucs sweep the Bruins Whitworth can still claim the fourth NWC playoff spot.
Game 1 – Willamette 3, Whitworth 2
The Bearcats made three first inning runs stand up and withstood Julia Johnson's two-run homer to win Saturday's opener.
Heather Winslow and Susie Krewer sandwiched RBI singles around Mica Romero's run-scoring double in the Bearcats' first-inning rally.
Whitworth starting pitcher Taylor Gilbert allowed only a single hit the rest of the way. She finished the game with a five-hitter, striking out two and walking one but still falling to 8-4 this season.
Julia Johnson drilled her third home run of the season to center field in the top of the fourth inning, getting the Bucs within a run.
Whitworth had a chance to tie the game in the seventh inning when pinch-runner Makenzie Hope reached third base with one out. But she was caught at home by Romero's throw from shortstop on Sami Parr's ground ball.
Alex Watilo (12-3) went the distance for Willamette, allowing one earned run on five hits.
Game 2 – Willamette 11, Whitworth 3 (5 innings)
The Bearcats scored in every inning to win the series finale in five innings on the NCAA's eight-run rule.
Theresa Martin, Mica Romero and Erin Norris each drove in a pair of runs for Willamette. The Bearcats drove in three runs each in the third and fourth innings to break the game open. The game ended on a two-run double by Norris in the fifth, the third of three straight hits to open the inning.
Riley Fritz (9-11) started the game and allowed seven earned runs on 12 hits in 3.1 innings.
Hayley Glantz (6-5) went the entire way for Willamette.