By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Corban University earned nine hits in the first game and recorded 11 hits in the second game, as the Warriors defeated Willamette University, 9-4 and 7-2, on Sunday, Feb. 12 at the WU Softball Field.
Corban advanced its record to 4-0 on the season. Willamette, playing its first games of the year, ended the doubleheader at 0-2.
First Game Includes Two Homers Per Team
The first game featured four home runs with two by each team. Alex Shields (Sr., C, Lake Forest, CA/El Toro HS) and Mallory Asaro (Jr., 1B, Rocklin, CA/Rocklin HS) sent the ball out of the park for the Bearcats. Taylor Eilders and Jessie Isham each belted a home run for Corban. Asaro and Isham also doubled during the game.
Eilders was the first batter in the opening stanza of the first game. She hit the first pitch over the left field fence. The Warriors added three more runs in the first inning. Maddy Melton walked and scored two batters later, when Iris Rodriguez reached base on a fielding error. The other two runs crossed the plate with two outs on RBI singles by Paige Martin and Allie Mendez.
Shields blasted a shot that cleared the fence in left field with one out in the bottom of the first inning to reduce the lead to 4-1. The Bearcats moved within 4-3 when Asaro drove in two runs on a homer to left field with two outs in the third inning. Payton Reynolds (Fr., UT, Reno, NV/Reno HS) also scored on the play.
Corban added one run in the fourth and one run in the fifth for a 6-3 advantage. In the fourth inning, Eilders hit an RBI single to center field with a pinch-runner Allison Bost on second. In the fifth, Isham belted a home run to left. It was her third homer of the season.
WU reduced the lead to 6-4 in the bottom of the fifth. Kea Gier (Fr., 3B, Kaneohe, HI/Iolani School) singled, reached second on a wild pitch, went to third on a fielding error, and scored when the catcher threw the ball into center field on a steal by Olivia Scott. Scott was thrown out at third on the play. Asaro singled up the middle, but Darian Gibson hit into a fielder's choice to end the inning.
The Warriors extended their lead with a run in the sixth inning. Corban completed the scoring by plating two runs in the seventh inning on two hits and two errors.
Mendez, now 2-0, pitched the first six innings for Corban and picked up the win. She allowed six hits and four runs (three earned). Kaylee Graney tossed the seventh inning to pick up her first save. Willamette used six pitchers, with five throwing one inning apiece and Reanna Lancaster (So., P, Los Altos, CA/Mountain View HS) throwing two innings. Jade Smith (Sr., P, Chico, CA/Chico HS), who started the game, took the loss.
Asaro went 3 for 3 at the plate for Willamette. She scored one run and registered two RBIs. Shields finished 2 for 3 with a run and an RBI. Eilders was 3 of 4 for Corban with a run and three RBIs. Isham went 2 of 4 while scoring two runs and earning one RBI. Mendez was 2 for 3 with a run and an RBI.
Boyd Limits Beacats to Two Hits in Second Game
Eidlers started the second game with a double to center field for Corban. She advanced to third on a ground out by Melton. Isham followed with a double to left field, allowing Eilders to score. A throwing error moved Isham to third at the end of the play. She scored when Grace Utto-Galarneau hit into a ground out.
In the bottom of the second inning, Reynolds received a leadoff walk for the Bearcats. She gave way to pinch-runner Promise Burnett (So., UT, Oakland, CA/Bishop O'Dowd HS), who moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Asaro. Burnett stole third base and scored when the shortstop committed a throwing error on the play.
Two runs in the third inning for Corban increased the Warriors' lead to 4-1. Isham drove in both runners with a 2-RBI single. The Warriors plated an additional two runs in the fifth inning and one in the seventh for a 7-1 lead.
The Bearcats scored the game's final run in the bottom of the seventh. Gibson walked to open the inning. She went to second when Miki Takara (Fr., 2B, Pearl City, HI/Maryknoll HS) was hit by a pitch. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch. Alexia Pratt (Sr., OF, Roseville, CA/Woodcreek HS) was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
One out later, with the bases still loaded, Lancaster reached first on a fielder's choice. Takara was thrown out at third on the play, but Gibson scored. A fly out by Shields ended the game.
Sabrina Boyd (1-0) threw all seven innings and limited Willamette to two hits. She registered three strikeouts and allowed two walks. Graney pitched briefly at the start of the seventh inning, but Boyd returned before the Warriors recorded the first out. As in the first game, WU used six pitchers, with Lancaster throwing two innings. Smith started the game and fell to 0-2 with the loss.
Isham led Corban's offense in the second game by going 3 for 4 with two runs and four RBIs. Melton and Raimee Sluder each provided two hits, while Eilders scored three runs. Willamette's hits wre by Lancaster and Gibson.
Up Next for Willamette
The Bearcats are scheduled to host Northwest Christian University in a doubleheader on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Game time at WU Softball Field is slated for 1 p.m. (PST).