SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitworth University swept visiting Puget Sound in a Northwest Conference softball doubleheader on Saturday afternoon and strengthened its lead in the conference standings. The Pirates won the opener 9-2 and took the nightcap 7-4.
Whitworth improved to 25-5 overall and 16-2 in the NWC and the Pirates now hold a two-game lead over Linfield College (21-5, 10-4) in the loss column. Whitworth has won nine games in a row and 13 of its last 14 contests.
Puget Sound fell to 11-16, 4-12 with the pair of losses. The teams will complete the series on Sunday at 11:00 am with another doubleheader.
Game 1 – Whitworth 9, Puget Sound 2
Whitworth trailed 2-1 early in the game, but scored seven runs in the fifth inning to break it open.
The Pirates got on the board in the bottom of the first when Kinsey McNaught led off with a single and eventually scored on an infield single by Wessel.
The Loggers took a 2-1 lead with two unearned runs in the second. One of the runs scored when Kaitlyn Webster was called out on the infield fly rule with the bases loaded, but Jessica Gott was able to come home from third when the pop up was dropped.
Whitworth tied the game in the bottom of the third on Wessel's fifth home run of the season. The Pirates then broke it open with their seven run fifth inning, which came on only four hits. The Pirates took advantage of two Puget Sound errors and five walks. Michelle Silva had a two-run double in the rally, while Matthews and McNaught added RBI singles.
Madi Perez went the distance in the circle for Whitworth to improve to 15-1 this season. She scattered seven hits and both runs that scored were unearned. McNaught went 3-4 for the Pirates with an RBI and two runs scored. Wessel finished 2-3 with two RBIs.
Erica Gott started for Puget Sound and fell to 5-6 after allowing seven runs on five hits in 4.1 innings. Jessica Gott finished up in the circle for the Loggers.
Game 2 – Whitworth 7, Puget Sound 4
Myranda Ramirez went 3-4 and drove in a career-high six runs for the Pirates.
Puget Sound took the early lead for the second time on Saturday after Whitworth pitcher Ashley Trueblood walked the bases loaded with one out. Jessica Gott scored on a ground out to shortstop.
Whitworth answered in the bottom of the second when Ramirez drilled a three-run double to left field with two outs. The Pirates increased their lead to 6-1 in the fourth when Ramirez hit a three-run homer to center field, her first of the season. They added another run when Wessel followed with a double and scored on Silva's infield single.
Puget Sound scored twice in the fifth. Jessica Gott had an RBI double and Webster added an RBI single. The Loggers picked up their final run in the sixth when Erica Gott tripled home Jenna Llamas.
Trueblood allowed three runs on six hits in 4.1 innings, but improved to 7-1 this season. Megan Truesdale pitched the final 2.2 innings to get her first save of the year.
Jaci Young started for Puget Sound and fell to 4-6 after she allowed six runs on eight hits in 3.2 innings. Kasey Stern finished up in the circle for the Loggers.