NEWBERG, Ore. – Whitworth and George Fox finished their Northwest Conference softball series the way they started it – with a split on Sunday that evened the series at two wins apiece.
Jamie Brunner went 4-7 on the day as the visiting Pirates won the opener 6-0, while the Bruins took the nightcap 3-1. George Fox (20-20 overall, 15-13 NWC) is headed to next week's NWC tournament.
Whitworth has finished its 2012 season with a final record of 19-21 and an NWC mark of 13-15. The Pirates showed dramatic improvement after a 4-14 start this season (2-10 in the NWC).
Brunner got the Pirates on the board in the top of the first with an RBI single and Clow followed with an RBI single of her own that scored Brunner.
Whitworth added five more runs in the fifth. Hanna Boyd was hit by a pitch leading off the inning and Brunner doubled her in for a 3-0 lead. Julie Johnson followed with her own double that scored Brunner and Clow then added her home run for the 6-0 Pirate lead.
Gilbert worked out of trouble in the first and fourth innings when the Bruins left a pair of runners on base each time. She allowed only four hits in seven innings with one strike out and one walk.
Clow finished 2-3 at the plate with three RBIs, while Brunner went 2-4 with a pair of runs driven in. Natalie Evers also had two hits for the Bucs.
Game 2 – George Fox 3, Whitworth 1
All of the runs were scored in the fourth inning as Allyssa Dendekker outdueled Gilbert to win the series finale.
Brunner led off the top of the fourth with an infield single and moved to second on a throwing error. She then advanced to third base on a passed ball and eventually scored on Julia Johnson's ground out to second base.
George Fox struck quickly in its half of the fourth inning. After one was out, Felica Chavez and Bethany Chriss singled. Kerrianne Davidson followed with her fourth home run of the season.
Dendekker improved to 7-6 by allowing only three hits with three strikeouts and one walk. Gilbert (10-6) went 4.1 innings for the Pirates, allowing three runs on seven hits. Taylor Fritz tossed the final 1.2 innings for Whitworth.
Brunner had two of the Bucs' three hits and scored the team's only run.