SPOKANE, Wash. – After dropping the first game of the weekend 5-3, the Whitworth softball team scored all five of its runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to defeat George Fox University, 5-1, in game two on Saturday at Marks Field.
Senior Jamie Brunner finished the day 3-for-5 at the plate, including a two-run homer in the first game that brought her season home run total to five.
Game 1 – George Fox 5, Whitworth 3
After falling behind 2-0 after the first half inning, Whitworth was able to cut George Fox's lead in half when junior Makenzie Hope singled up the middle and scored three batters later on a groundout from senior Heather Hesselgesser.
George Fox pushed two more runs across the plate in the top of the third inning. After three scoreless innings, the Pirates looked to make some noise in the bottom of the fifth inning. With two outs, junior Caylan Haehl singled to the shortstop to give Whitworth a base runner. Jamie Brunner followed Haehl's hit with her fifth home run of the season, pulling the Pirates within one, 4-3. George Fox avoided the threat, though, holding Whitworth scoreless for the rest of the game and adding a run in the top of the seventh to ensure the victory.
Rachel Field (5-7) earned the win in the circle, pitching 4.2 innings with three runs on six hits. Sophomore Riley Fritz (12-5) took the loss, pitching 4.0 innings with three earned runs on five hits and three strikeouts.
Caylan Haehl went 3-for-4 at the plate with a run scored, while Brunner was 1-for-2 with two RBI. Heather Hesselgesser also batted in a run.
Game 2 – Whitworth 5, George Fox 1
The Bruins looked ready to pick up where they left off in game one, as they opened the second game of the day with a 1-0 lead after their first at-bat. Whitworth was unable to come up with an answer as George Fox pitcher Erin Hento held the Pirates scoreless with just three hits going into the bottom of the sixth inning.
Following the pattern from game one, Caylan Haehl singled as the second batter in the bottom of the sixth and then scored on a Jamie Brunner double. Brunner scored on a single from Heather Hesselgesser to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead. Freshman Megan John singled to left center, scoring freshman pinch runner Brittany Connor and then senior Jessica Ross doubled down the left field line to score John. Freshman M'Liss Powles scored the final run of the game on a failed pickoff attempt to give the Bucs a 5-1 lead. George Fox went down in order in the top of the seventh.
Sophomore Megan Fisher (3-3) earned the win in the circle, striking out seven of the 19 batters she faced and allowed two hits and a walk in five innings. Erin Hento (4-6) took the loss, giving up three runs on six hits while striking out three batters.
Brunner, Hesselgesser, John and Ross each finished the game with an RBI.
Whitworth and George Fox will conclude the four-game series on Sunday, with the first game of the doubleheader starting at 12:00 pm.