THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – It didn't take the Whitworth bats long to come alive this season. The Pirates drove across 18 runs in an 11-5 and 7-0 non-conference softball sweep at Cal Lutheran on Friday afternoon.
Jamie Brunner went 4-8 on the day and drive in six runs to help Whitworth improve to 3-1 this season. The Regals open 0-2.
Game 1 – Whitworth 11, Cal Lutheran 5
Jamie Brunner went 2-4 and drove in four runs to lead the Pirates to the win in the opener.
Whitworth led 1-0 through four innings and it looked like a pitchers' dual between the Pirates' Riley Fritz and CLU's Blake Lewis.
But then Whitworth broke through with five runs in the fifth inning. Sacha Clow's RBI single drove in the first run. Then Brunner laced a bases-loaded double that drove in three more runs. Julia Johnson's RBI single sent home the final run of the inning.
The Regals got two back in their half of the fifth on Shannon Tinsley's two-run homer. An error earlier in the inning meant both runs were unearned.
The Pirates nearly put the game away in the sixth with four more runs. Brunner singled home the first run. Then one play with two different CLU errors led to three unearned runs for Whitworth and a 10-2 lead.
The Regals avoided the eight-run rule by scoring three in the bottom of the sixth. Katrina Gutierrez had a two run single in the rally.
Whitworth's final run of the game came on Heather Hesselgesser's RBI single in the seventh.
Fritz improved to 2-0 with 5.1 innings of work. She allowed five runs, three earned, on eight hits. Megan Fisher threw the final 1.2 innings.
Natalie Evers joined Brunner with two hits in the game.
Game 2 – Whitworth 7, Cal Lutheran 0
Taylor Gilbert threw a four-hit shutout and Sacha Clow drove in three runs to give the Pirates a sweep of the doubleheader.
Evers singled home Whitworth's first run in the third inning and Clow later scored on Brunner's ground out.
The Pirates added five runs in the fourth to blow the game open. Clow's triple drove in three of the runs and Brunner had an RBI single in the inning.
Gilbert was steady while earning her first win in the circle this season. She struck out one and walked two while scattering four singles.
Whitworth will conclude its trip to Southern California with another doubleheader at La Verne on Saturday afternoon.