FOREST GROVE, Ore. – The Whitworth University softball team held an advantage in the hits column, but Pacific (Ore.) University plated more runs to defeat the Pirates 4-3 in the conclusion of a Northwest Conference game at Sherman Larkins Stadium on Friday afternoon.
Whitworth falls to 22-14 overall, with a 14-10 record in the NWC. Pacific (Ore.) improves to 21-9 on the season, 16-8 in the NWC. The Boxers tightened their hold on second in the NWC standings, while the Pirates slipped into third in the standings.
The first three innings, completed on March 8, featured all of the action, as Whitworth combined a pair of hits with a pair of Boxer errors to score a pair of runs. Sophomore Alyssa Hall reached on an error and scored after a single from senior Taylor Gilbert led to a fielding error. Gilbert came around to score after a wild pitch, putting the Pirates up 2-0 after the first at-bat.
Pacific pulled within a run in the bottom of the first as an RBI single scored Rachel Roberts. Two base hits and a hit batter loaded the bases for Gilbert in the top of the second, and her single scored freshman Tessa Matthews to put Whitworth in front 3-1. Pacific loaded the bases for Megan Winans, whose double scored the tying runs. A Whitworth fielding error allowed the go-ahead run to score and Pacific led 4-3 when the game was postponed due to rain after the third inning.
Sophomore Megan John was hit by a pitch to put a runner on in the top of the fourth, but a sac bunt and a groundout ended the inning with the runner on base. Both teams stranded a runner in the fifth, and went down in order in the sixth.
With one out in the top of the seventh, Gilbert hit a single up the middle, but the Boxers recorded the final two outs before sophomore pinch runner Brittany Connor could come around the bases.
Whitworth had seven hits, compared to Pacific's six team hits, but the Pirates stranded seven base runners in the game. Taylor Gilbert claimed three of the Pirate hits, finishing 3-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
Sara Aasness (10-4) earned the win, allowing one earned run on seven hits with four strikeouts and two walks in seven innings of work. Freshman Makayla Lefever (3-4) took the loss, allowing three earned runs on five hits with three strikeouts and one walk in three innings in the circle.
Whitworth travels to Portland for a four game Northwest Conference series at Lewis & Clark on Saturday, April 12 and Sunday, April 13. First pitch is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. both days.