The Whitworth University softball team closes out the regular season with a six game road trip this weekend.
The Pirates will play Pacific Lutheran at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 10th in a makeup game from early March. The Pirates also have to conclude the final four innings of a game at Pacific, which will be played at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 11th. Whitworth concludes the road trip with the regularly scheduled four game series at Lewis & Clark on Saturday, April 12 and Sunday, April 13th. The opening games will be at 12:00 p.m. both days.
Links to live stats and video can be found on the Whitworth softball schedule.
The Pirates: Four Pirates have combined for 11 Whitworth home runs this season. Senior Julia Johnson, who recorded six homers last season, has tied that number already this season. Johnson leads the team with 29 runs batted in. Junior Peyton McMahon has three home runs this season, including a grand slam against La Verne, and she is second on the team with 27 RBI. McMahon leads the team with 11 doubles this season. Both McMahon and Johnson have multiple RBI games this season. Sophomore Bailey Kasler became the third Pirate to hit a homer this season with a two-run shot against Puget Sound, and freshman Shannon Wessel connected with her first collegiate homer against the Bruins.
Junior Sacha Clow has a .362 batting average with a .474 on base percentage for the Pirates. Shannon Wessel leads the team in stolen bases; she has been successful in 15 of her 16 attempts. Wessel also leads the team in runs scored, accounting for 25 runs for the Pirates this season. Sophomore Megan John is a perfect 5-5 in stolen bases this season and has scored 17 runs for the Pirates. Sophomore Brittany Connor has seven stolen bases and has 20 runs scored this season.
The Opponents: Whitworth takes on three Northwest Conference opponents this week.
Pacific Lutheran is 12-23 on the season with a 9-14 mark in the Northwest Conference. The Lutes had a four game winning streak snapped with a pair of losses at Pacific (Ore.) on Sunday. Kelsey Robinson is a dual threat for PLU, batting .374 with 12 RBI and a 4.45 ERA with 48 strikeouts in the circle.
Whitworth looks to complete the sweep in the final game of the series. The Pirates took the first three in Tacoma Feb. 28-March 1.
Pacific (Ore.) is 18-9 on the season, with a 13-8 record in the NWC. The Boxers are on a three game winning streak, and take on Puget Sound in a NWC doubleheader on Thursday. Rachel Roberts leads the Boxers with a .494 batting average and has a NWC-best 39 stolen bases. In the circle, Sara Aasness had a 3.96 ERA with 47 strikeouts in 81.1 innings pitched. In her last four games, she has a 0.46 ERA while only allowing 10 hits.
The Boxers won the first three games in the series and will have a 4-3 lead in the fourth inning when play resumes on Friday.
Lewis & Clark is 10-20 overall, with a 6-15 NWC record. The Pioneers split their last outing, dropping the first game before winning game two against Willamette. Lewis & Clark will play a single game at George Fox on Friday, April 11th. Hannah Dal pra leads the Pios with a .368 batting average, three home runs and 25 RBI. In the circle, Kalin Rooney has a 3.57 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 33.1 innings.
Last season, Lewis & Clark won the first game in the series in Portland, but Whitworth claimed the next three. The Pirates lead the overall series 49-9.
Warming Up: In 34 games this season, the Pirates have scored 190 runs. Whitworth has scored 116 of those runs in the fourth inning or later. The Pirates are 12-0 when leading after four innings, 14-0 when leading after five innings and 15-0 when leading after six innings. Whitworth tends to plate the most runs in the fourth and fifth innings, as the Pirates have scored 30 and 39 runs in those innings, respectively.
Pirate Leaders: Four Pirates rank in the top five in Northwest Conference statistical categories and two Pirates rank in the top 50 among Division III players.
Julia Johnson's six home runs tie for the most in the league, while her 29 RBI are the third-most in the NWC. Shannon Wessel's 15 stolen bases are the fifth-most in the conference this season.
Madi Perez is tied for second in the league with 11 wins in the circle and is second with three saves. Her 53 strikeouts rank fifth in the conference, along with her 1.69 ERA. Riley Fritz's two saves are tied for the third most in the conference.
Nationally, Julia Johnson ranks 25th for her six home runs this season. Madi Perez ranks 17th in Division III with 11 victories in the circle.
Next Up: The Northwest Conference tournament will be April 18-19. Linfield, the NWC regular season champion, will host the top four schools in double elimination tournament.