Boxers Use 5-Run Inning in each game to Defeat Willamette, 9-5 and 7-1

Breianna Mcleod (So., OF, Kailua Kona, HI/West Hawaii Explorations Acad.)
Breianna Mcleod (So., OF, Kailua Kona, HI/West Hawaii Explorations Acad.)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications, (503) 370-6110

FOREST GROVE, Ore. -- The Boxers of Pacific University scored five runs in the second inning of the first game, and plated five runs in the third inning of the second game, on their way to downing Willamette University, 9-5 and 7-1, in a Northwest Conference doubleheader on Sunday, March 3. Pacific also benefited from strong pitching in the second game, as Rylee Patton and Cheyenne Datan limited the Bearcats to two hits.

Pacific advanced its record to 10-5 on the season, 4-0 in the NWC. Willamette dropped to 0-9 overall, including 0-4 in the NWC.

Nicole Martinez provided a spark for the Boxers, as she went 5 of 7 at the plate with four runs, three RBIs, a double and four stolen bases during the twinbill. Montana Vaught was 3 of 4 overall with two runs, three RBIs, a double and a triple. Hailey Miller went 4 for 8, with a double and three RBIs. Nishimura drove in three runs in the second game.

Willamette was led by Breianna Mcleod (So., OF, Kailua Kona, HI/West Hawaii Explorations Acad.), who finished the two games 3 of 8, with a double, a stolen base and one RBI. Jocelyn Glasgo (Jr., P, Rochester, WA/Tumwater HS) was 2 of 5 with a double, two walks, a stolen base, a run scored and an RBI.

Bearcats Build 3-0 Lead in First Game, but Boxers Rally for 9-5 Win

Willamette scored once in the first inning and twice in the second to grab a 3-0 advantage in the first game. In the opening stanza, Payten Healy (Fr., SS, Crescent City, CA/Del Norte HS) walked with one out. Glasgo hit into a two-base error in left. Vanessa Almaraz (Jr., OF, Simi Valley, CA/Simi Valley HS) brought Healy home and Glasgo to third with a sacrifice fly.

In the second frame, Kelsey Wong (Fr., 3B, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) singled up the middle and Kilani Fierstos (Fr., 2B, Redmond, OR/Redmond HS) reached base on an unsuccessful fielder's choice. Wong eventually scored on a double by Mcleod. Two batters later, Glasgo hit a single that allowed Fiertos to cross the plate.

Pacific moved into a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the second. The Boxers recorded four hits during the inning, including a bunt single by Becca Bernard, a two-run single by Martinez, an RBI double from Vaught and a two-run single by Miller.

The Bearcats tied the score with two runs in the third. Bailey Hillmick (So., DP/UT, Athena, OR/Weston-McEwen HS) was hit by a pitch to start the frame. Olivia Scott (Jr., C, San Francisco, CA/Lowell HS) pinch-ran for Hillmick, and then Almaraz walked. Scott and Almaraz each advanced one base on a fly out by Amber Griffith (Fr., UT, Brush Prairie, WA/Hockinson HS), and both scored when Kelsey Wong (Fr., 3B, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) reached base on a throwing error by the third baseman.

In the bottom of the third, Pacific broke the deadlock by plating three runs for an 8-5 lead. The first run scored on a double by Martinez. The next two runs reached home on a triple to center by Kaitlynn Donaca. Pacific scored the game's final run in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly by Vaught.

Mcleod and Glasgo each went 2 of 4 with an RBI for Willamette. Martinez went 2 of 3 with two runs and three RBIs for Pacific. Donaca was 2 for 2. Morgan Masters, who threw a complete-game on Saturday, tossed the final five innings for the Boxers. She improved to 5-1 on the season.

Patton and Datan Limit Bearcats to Two Hits in Second Game

In the second game, Patton pitched the first four innings for the Boxers, while Datan provided relief in the last three innings. They combined to allow one run on two hits and four walks, plus one Pacific error. The Pacific offense helped the Patton and Datan by pounding out 11 hits. Four of the hits were recorded during the Boxers' five-run third inning.

Martinez singled, and then stole second to open the third stanza. She moved to third on a ground out, and scored on a triple to center by Vaught. Miller drove in Vaught with a double to center. Later in the inning, the Bearcats threw out pinch-runner Lilly Meek at the plate on a grounder toward third with the bases loaded. The score remained 2-0, but Taylor Nishimura followed with a three-run double to right field.

The Bearcats reduced the margin to 5-1 in the top of the fourth when Glasgo walked, went to second on a ground out by Hillmick, and scored on a single by Almaraz. Pacific completed the scoring with two runs in the bottom of the inning. 

Martinez and Miller each went 3 of 4 during the game, with Martinez scoring twice and Miller earning an RBI. Patton earned the pitching win to improve to 2-1. Willamette's hits were singles by Mcleod and Almaraz. Bailey Hillmick (So., DP/UT, Athena, OR/Weston-McEwen HS) took the loss for the Bearcats and fell to 0-3 on the season. 

Up Next for Willamette

The Bearcats will play their first home games of the season on Saturday, March and Sunday, March 10, when they host Whitworth University in NWC action. The teams will play a doubleheader each day, with first pitch set for 12 p.m. (PST) on Saturday and for 12 p.m. (PDT) on Sunday.

Breianna Mcleod (So., OF, Kailua Kona, HI/West Hawaii Explorations Acad.)

Big Moment of the Day for Willamette

Breianna Mcleod was 2 for 4 in the first game with a double
and an RBI. She hit her double in the second inning to drive
home Kelsey Wong. Mcleod added one hit in the second game.