TACOMA, Wash. – The Whitworth University softball team rallied late, but could not overcome two Pacific Lutheran home runs as the Lutes won 7-3 on Thursday afternoon Northwest Conference matchup at PLU Field.
Whitworth falls to 22-13 overall, with a 14-9 record in the NWC. Pacific Lutheran improves to 13-23, with a 10-14 NWC mark.
Pacific Lutheran used a two-run homer from Lindsey Matsunaga to take a 2-0 lead in the first inning. An RBI single in the bottom of the third and an RBI double in the bottom of the fourth pushed the Lute lead to 4-0. After a wild pitch allowed Matsunaga to score, Tori Hamura hit a two-run home run to center field, putting PLU in front 7-0 after five innings.
Whitworth began the rally in the top of the sixth as senior Taylor Gilbert hit a leadoff single. Senior Julia Johnson was walked and freshman Shannon singled to right field to load the bases for junior Peyton McMahon. Gilbert scored on a fielder's choice to make it 7-1.
A Lute error put a runner on in the top of seventh for the Pirates. With two outs, Julia Johnson and freshman Shannon Wessel hit back-to-back doubles to plate a pair of runs and make it 7-3. The Pirates were unable to get any closer as a Whitworth popup ended the game in Pacific Lutheran's favor.
Shannon Wessel finished the game 3-3 with an RBI, while sophomore Alyssa Hall went 2-3.
Kelsey Robinson (7-10) earned the win in the circle, allowing one run on six hits with two strikeouts and three walks in five innings. Freshman Madi Perez (11-5) took the loss in the circle, allowing three runs on four hits with a walk in two innings of work.
Whitworth travels to Forest Grove to complete the final four innings of the March 8 matchup against the Boxers before completing the regular season with a four game series at Lewis & Clark April 12-13.