by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SALEM, Ore. – The Whitworth Pirates held Willamette to just four runs in Sunday's doubleheader to finish off a weekend sweep of the Bearcats.
The victories stretched Whitworth's (12-3, 7-0 NWC) win streak out to 11 games, 9 of which required the mercy rule. The Bearcats (0-13, 0-8 NWC) remain winless.
Game 1: Whitworth 11, Willamette 2 (6 innings)
The Pirates scored five runs in the first inning and didn't look back, thumping the Bearcats 11-2 in the opening game.
Whitworth opened the game with four straight singles to center field, which combined to net three runs. After a fielder's choice gave the Bearcats their first out of the inning, Maddy Thomas hit her second home run in as many days to give the Bucs a 5-0 lead.
The game almost resembled a bit of a pitcher's duel for the following three innings as both teams' hurlers dug in inside the circle. Madelyn Carlson allowed just one runner to reach base in the first three innings and Bailey Hillmick held the Bucs to just one run between the second and fourth innings.
Willamette got to Carlson in the fourth, scratching across a pair of runs with two outs to cut Whitworth's lead to 6-2. Kealaulaikalani Gier opened the Bearcat scoring with a single and Vanessa Almarez followed with a double. Carlson escaped the inning by forcing Marley Nicassio to ground out in the next at-bat.
The Pirates responded to the Bearcat runs by tallying five of their own over the final two innings. Graham highlighted the outburst with a two-RBI double in the sixth inning and Sara Gayer provided an RBI single in the fifth.
Carlson finished her day after tossing five innings and allowing two runs on six hits. She also struck out four and walked one. Kylie Harris threw a perfect sixth inning to close out the game.
All nine Whitworth starters finished the game with at least one hit and eight Bucs scored a run. Four Pirates finished with multiple RBI.
Game 2: Whitworth 3, Willamette 2
Maddy Thomas' sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh inning was the difference as Whitworth eked past the Bearcats to earn a sweep.
Thomas' RBI came after the Bucs scored the game-tying run on a wild pitch that sent Kinsey McNaught racing home. Thomas followed by driving in Gayer, who had reached on a fielder's choice in the previous at-bat.
The Pirates trailed heading into the inning after the Bearcats broke a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the sixth. Payton Healy singled through the left side of the infield to drive Jocelyn Glasgo home, giving Willamette a 2-1 lead.
Prior to the seventh, Glasgo had been lights-out in the circle as well. She allowed just one unearned run through the first six innings before the Pirates scratched two across in the seventh.
On the other side, Drea Schwaier-Wolf was equally solid for the Bucs. The freshman tossed seven innings and allowed just two runs on six hits. She also struck out eight Bearcats and walked none.
Looking Ahead: The Pirates return home for their first games of the year at Diana Marks Field. Whitworth hosts Puget Sound for four games on March 16 and 17.