By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
CALDWELL, Idaho -- Willamette University opened the 2019 softball season with a pair of losses to undefeated College of Idaho, 6-0 and 8-6, on Friday, Feb. 22. The second game was tied 6-6 entering the bottom of the sixth inning. Both games were part of the College of Idaho Tournament, which is being co-hosted by C of I and Northwest Nazarene University. The Yotes improved to 8-0 on the season. Willamette ended the day at 0-2.
The Bearcats will continue the tournament with two games in Nampa, Idaho, on Saturday, Feb. 23. Willamette will take on Carroll College (Mont.) at 10:30 a.m. MST/9:30 a.m. PST, before battling Northwest Nazarene at 12:30 p.m. MST/11:30 a.m. PST. The Bearcats will end the weekend against Menlo College (Calif.) in Caldwell, Idaho, on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 11 a.m. MST/10 a.m. PST.
Roberts Throws a Complete Game for College of Idaho
Colette Robert pitched a complete game for the Lady Yotes in the first game. She struck out 10 batters, while allowing just three hits and no walks over seven innings. Robert improved to 3-0 on the season.
The Lady Yotes took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second. Haley Loffer was hit by a pitch to start the inning. A ground out moved Loffer to second base, before Lacie Miller smacked a two-run homer to right field. A lineout and a strikeout ended the inning.
C of I kept its two-run cushion until the fifth, when the Lady Yotes tacked on four runs. Aleah Mendiola tripled down the line with one out. Trystin Crofts followed with a single to score Mendiola. Later, Crofts was forced out at home on a bases-loaded ball toward first. Benti Corta then hit a two-run single to left center. Miller singled to drive in the fourth run.
In Willamette's half of the sixth inning, a throwing error from third base allowed Payten Healy (Fr., SS, Crescent City, CA/Del Norte HS) to reach base with two outs. Glasgo sent Healy to third with a single down the left field line. When the Lady Yotes tried to throw out Healy, Glasgo advanced to second. Roberts got out of the inning by recording a strikeout.
WU earned just three hits against Roberts. In addition to Glasgo's single in the sixth, Vanessa Almaraz (Jr., OF, Simi Valley, CA/Simi Valley HS) singled in the fourth and Kilani Fierstos (Fr., 2B, Redmond, OR/Redmond HS) hit a single to open the sixth.
Miller led College of Idaho's offense with a 2-for-3 performance that included a two-run homer and a total of three RBIs. Mendiola went 2 of 4 with a triple and one run scored.
Glasgo, who pitched the first six innings for Willamette, fell to 0-1 despite limiting C of I to seven hits. Morgan Penn (Jr., P, Beaverton, OR/Southridge HS) tossed a scoreless inning for the Bearcats in the bottom of the sixth.
Bearcats Tie Game 2 in Top of 6th, but Lady Yotes Score Twice to Win
In the second game, Willamette trailed 3-0 and 6-1 before rallying with three runs in the fifth inning and two runs in the top of the sixth to tie the score. College of Idaho broke the tie with two runs in the bottom of the sixth.
With one out in the bottom of the first, Mendiola doubled down the left field line for C of I. With two outs, Marissa Maddox powered a home run to left. Delaney Atkins then singled and Loffer was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second. Crofts drove in Atkins on a single near the left field line.
The Lady Yotes increased their lead to 5-1 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second. Crofts and Maddox each belted an RBI double during the inning. In the fourth stanza, Micha Fortune singled and later scored for College of Idaho.
Willamette chipped away at the five-run deficit. In the fifth, the Bearcats combined an RBI single by Sofia Magnani (Jr., P/OF, Belmont, CA/Notre Dame HS), with two walks, two hit batters, two wild pitches, a defensive interference, and a throwing error to score three runs. Fierstos, Breianna Mcleod (So., OF, Kailua Kona, HI/West Hawaii Explorations Acad.) and Emily Bishop (Sr., OF, Maple Valley, WA/Tahoma HS/Pierce College) crossed the plate. The surge moved WU within 6-4. In the top of the sixth, the Bearcats tied the game.
Hook reached first base on an error by pitcher Nichole Giesy to start the rally. Wong was hit by a pitch, and Giesy was replaced in the circle by Loryn Fonger. A dropped foul ball kept Fierstos at the plate, allowing Hook and Wong to advance on a passed ball. Fierstos brought home Hook with a single through the left side, and Wong tied the score at the end of the play on a throwing error. A foul out and a pop-up double play ended the inning.
Mendiola walked to start the bottom of the sixth for C of I. Crofts followed Mendiola to the plate, and hit a two-run homer to left center. Hannah Mcnerney faced just three batters in the top of the seventh to earn her first save. Fonger improved to 2-0 with the win. Reanna Lancaster (Sr., P, Los Altos, CA/Mountain View HS) went to 0-1 with the loss.
Five Bearcats -- Magnani, Glasgo, Wong, Fierstos and Mcleod -- each recorded one hit in the second game. Hook scored twice and Fierstos provided two RBIs. For the Lady Yotes, Crofts was 3 for 4 with a double, a homer, two runs and three RBIs. Maddox finished 2 of 4 with a run, a double and three RBIs. Fortune was 2 of 3 and scored two runs.
Big Moment of the Day for Willamette
Kilani Fierstos hit a single through the left side in the top of
the sixth inning to drive in Meghan Hook from third base.
Kelsey Wong also scored on the play following a throwing
error by the catcher. When the play ended, Willamette was
tied with the Lady Yotes at 6-6.