PORTLAND, Ore. – The Whitworth softball team bounced back from a 5-4 loss in game one to earn a 9-2 win in game two against the Lewis & Clark College Pioneers at Huston Sports Complex on Saturday.
Whitworth moves to 13-11 on the season, with a 10-8 mark in the Northwest Conference, while Lewis & Clark moves to 11-15 overall, 6-12 in NWC action.
Game 1 – Lewis & Clark 5, Whitworth 4
Lewis & Clark scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the first inning, when Hannah Dal Pra doubled down the right field line, scoring Haley Robinson and giving the Pioneers a 1-0 lead. After a scoreless second inning, the Pirates took the lead in the top of the third, as sophomore Taylor Gilbert hit a two-run homer that scored sophomore pinch runner Sacha Clow. Lewis & Clark tied the game 2-2 in the bottom of the third inning.
Senior Heather Hesselgesser opened the fourth inning with double to right center and scored on back-to-back wild pitches to put the Bucs up 3-2. The Pioneers answered with three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to take a 5-3 lead heading into the final inning. Senior Jamie Brunner doubled down the left field line with one out in the top of the seventh inning and scored on Hesselgesser's single to right center on the next play to pull the Pirates within one, 5-4. The next two batters went down in order though, ending Whitworth's rally and giving the Pioneers the5-4 win.
Natalie Rose (2-3) earned the win in the circle, recording six strikeouts, while giving up four earned runs on nine hits in seven innings. Sophomore Riley Fritz (8-2) took the loss, giving up three earned runs on five hits to 19 batters in four innings pitched.
Heather Hesslegesser went 3-for-4 at the plate with an RBI and a run, while freshman Alyssa Martinez finished the game 2-for-3. Gilbert hit her first home run of the season.
Game 2 – Whitworth 9, Lewis & Clark 2
Whitworth picked up where it left off in game two, scoring three runs in the top of the first inning. After being walked, junior Makenzie Hope stole second base and then scored on single from Jamie Brunner. A single up the middle from Alyssa Martinez scored junior Caylan Haehl, and then Brunner scored on a single up the middle from Riley Fritz that put the Pirates up 3-0.
Whitworth pushed another run across the plate in the second inning, when a Brunner groundout scored Hope. The Pioneers were able to pull within two, 4-2, in the bottom of the third inning, when Megan Andre scored on a Jet'aime Mullins double to center and Kelsey Buck scored on a wild pitch.
After reaching on a Pioneer error, Haehl scored on a Brunner triple to put some distance between the two teams. The Bucs put the game away in the top of the seventh inning, scoring four runs and pulling away from Lewis & Clark. With bases loaded, freshman M'Liss Powles walked, scoring pinch runner Sacha Clow. Freshman Alyssa Hall and Riley Fritz scored on a single to right field from freshman Megan John. Powles scored on a Jamie Brunner double for Whitworth's final run of the day.
In the circle, sophomore Megan Fisher (2-2) earned the win, giving up two runs on just four hits. She pitched all seven innings, facing 28 batters. Hollenbeck (4-5) takes the loss, giving up 12 hits and eight earned runs in 6.2 innings.
Jamie Brunner went 3-for-5 with four RBI at the plate. Riley Fritz went 3-for-4 and batted in one run. Makenzie Hope stole a game-high two bases.
The Pirates and the Pioneers will conclude the four game series on Sunday with game one of the doubleheader starting at 11:00 AM in Portland.