By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- After committing four errors and allowing 11 unearned runs in a 13-3 loss to Lewis & Clark College in the first game of a Northwest Conference doubleheader on Sunday, March 11, the Willamette University softball players were ready to redeem themselves. The result was a nearly perfectly executed game by the Willamette defense and pitchers Reanna Lancaster (Jr., P, Los Altos, CA/Mountain View HS) and Morgan Penn (So., P/1B, Beaverton, OR/Southridge HS) in a 1-0 victory over the Pioneers.
"I am proud of how this team shook off game one and stayed focused and solid to win game two," Willamette Head Coach Damian Williams said.
Neither team committed an error in the second game. Willamette scored the only run it would need in the bottom of the fifth inning when Jocelyn Glasgo (So., DP/P, Rochester, WA/Tumwater HS) blasted a triple to right center with one out. Maya Shipway (So., 1B, Bothell, WA/The Bear Creek School) followed with a sacrifice fly to left field to send pinch-runner Olivia Scott (So., C, San Francisco, CA/Lowell HS) across the plate.
The Pioneers nearly tied the game in the top of the sixth. Pinch-hitter Holly Hale hit a bunt single to the right of the circle to start the inning. Emily Drevdahl flied out down the right field line and Ateisha Norton flied out to shortstop. Sydney Cross belted a double to left field that moved Hale to third. Hale also tried to reach home plate, but left fielder Emily Bishop (Jr., Maple Valley, WA/Tahoma HS/Pierce College) threw the ball home and Hale was tagged out by Scott, who returned to catcher after running for Glasgo.
Willamette had a chance to add an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth. With two outs, Breianna Mcleod (Fr., SS/UT, Kailua Kona, HI/West Hawaii Explorations Acad.) smacked a triple down the right field line. L&C pitcher Savannah Dickson forced Penn to ground out to end the inning.
Lancaster pitched the first five innings and allowed just two hits, while improving to 1-1 on the season. Penn tossed the final two innings and picked up her first save, while allowing three hits. Dickson allowed seven hits while pitching the entire game for the Pioneers. She fell to 4-2 for the season.
Both Lancaster and Shipway were 2 for 2 at the plate in the second game.
In the first game, Lewis & Clark used a leadoff single by Paige Salavea, plus a hit batsman and several defensive miscues to score three runs in the first inning. One runner scored on a wild pitch, followed by a second runner on an error at the end of the play. A ground out by Norton brought in the third run.
The Bearcats battled back with single runs in each of the first three innings to tie the score at 3-3. In the first, Bishop reached base with one out on a throwing error and eventually scored on a single by Vanessa Almaraz (So., OF, Simi Valley, CA/Simi Valley HS). In the second, Bailey Hillmick (Fr., DP/UT, Athena, OR/Weston-McEween HS) walked and Scott pinch-ran. Scott went to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Kea Gier (So., 3B, Kaneohe, HI/Iolani School). Shipway doubled with on eout in the third and then scored on a double by Almaraz.
Lewis & Clark took charge of the game with 10 runs -- nine unearned against Willamette -- in the fourth inning. Norton singled to shortstop as the first batter. Cross reached base on an error at shortstop and Norton went to second. A double-steal advanced the runners. Frankie Warden singled through the right side to bring in Norton with the one earned run. Cross scored on a double-steal, with Warden moving to second. Ariel Trinidad lined out to shortstop and Stephanie Garcia hit an infield single. Lisa Kumasaka went to first on a throwing error, Willamette's third chance for an out in the inning, allowing Garcia to score.
Garcia was just the third runner to score in the fourth, but the Pioneers kept moving runners. Overall, the inning included three errors and nine hits. Lewis & Clark won the game 13-3 on the run rule in five innings.
During the game, Salavea was 3 of 4 with two runs and one RBI for the Pioneers. Norton and Warden each went 2 for 3 with two runs and two RBIs. One of Warden's hits was a triple. For the Bearcats, Almaraz was 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs. Shipway went 1 for 3 with a double and one run scored.
Willamette is 2-7 overall and 2-4 in the Northwest Conference. Lewis & Clark is 5-7 on the season, 4-4 in the NWC. Each team won two games during their four-game NWC series.
The Bearcats will play a four-game NWC series at Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon, next weekend. The teams are scheduled to play a doubleheader on Saturday, March 17, followed by another doubleheader on Sunday, March 18. The action is set to begin at 12 p.m. (PDT) each day.