By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Whitworth University pitcher Madelyn Carlson tossed a three-hitter in the first game, and teammates Drea Schwaier-Wolf and Rose Meshell combined on a three-hitter in the second game, as the Pirates defeated Willamette University, 5-2 and 11-2, in Northwest Conference action on Saturday, March 9. The second game ended on the run rule in five innings.
With the two victories, Whitworth improved its record to 10-3 overall, 5-0 in the NWC. Willamette, playing at WU Softball Field for the first time this season, fell to 0-11 overall, 0-6 in the NWC.
In the second game, Maddy Thomas of Whitworth and Bailey Hillmick (So., DP/UT, Athena, OR/Weston-McEwen HS) of Willamette each hit their second home run of the season. The teams will complete the four-game series with a doubleheader on Sunday, March 10 at the WU Softball Field. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. (PDT).
Pirates Build 3-0 Lead on Way to 5-2 Win
Whitworth plated two runs in the first inning of the doubleheader and added one run in the second. With one out in the first, Kinsey McNaught reached base on an error at shortstop. McNaught went to second and third on wild pitches. Michelle Silva walked to put runners at first and third. McNaught scored the game's first run on a double-steal. Silva went to third on a ground out by Sara Gayer, and scored at the end of the play on a throwing error from first base.
In the top of the second, Thomas belted a leadoff double to right center. She stole third and then scored on a single by Morgan Portlock. Later, the Pirates had runners at second and third with one out, but WU pitcher Jocelyn Glasgo (Jr., P, Rochester, WA/Tumwater HS) got out of the inning with a strikeout and a ground out.
Willamette pulled within 2-1 in the bottom of the fourth. With one out, Payten Healy (Fr., SS, Crescent City, CA/Del Norte HS) singled up the middle and Glasgo walked. A ground out advanced the runners to second and third. Glasgo forced a throw to second following a pitch to Vanessa Almaraz (Jr., OF, Simi Valley, CA/Simi Valley HS). Healy scored from third before Glasgo was thrown out 2-4-5 in a run-down to end the inning.
With one out in the top of the fifth, McNaught bunted single to third. Silva hit into a fielder's choice, with McNaught thrown out at second. A single by Gayer moved Silva to third. Rheanne Lewis drove in both runners with a triple to left field, giving Whitworth a 5-1 lead. Lewis was thrown out at the plate when Glasgo backed up a wild throw toward third and sent the ball home to catcher Meghan Hook (Fr., Sunnyvale, CA/Homestead HS).
Almaraz started the bottom of the fifth with a single up the middle. She stole second base. Carlson struck out the next two batters, but Kilani Fierstos (Fr., 2B, Redmond, OR/Redmond HS) followed with a single through the left side to send Almaraz across the plate.
In the sixth, Breianna Mcleod (So., OF, Kailua Kona, HI/West Hawaii Explorations Acad.) reached base for Willamette on an error by the second baseman to open the stanza. Healy advanced Mcleod to second with a sacrifice bunt. The Pirates turned a double play when Glasgo hit a fly ball to center field that looked like it would be a hit. McNaught made the catch and Mcleod was unable to tag up at second in time.
Carlson, 4-2 on the season, registered five strikeouts and no walks, while holding Willamette to three hits. Glago also threw a complete game, and earned four strikeouts with two walks. For the Pirates, Portlock was 2 of 3 with an RBI. McNaught went 2 of 4 with a run and a triple.
Hillmick Homers for Bearcats, Thomas Homers for Pirates
The second game featured the home runs by Hillmick for the Bearcats and Thomas for Whitworth. Also for the Pirates, Thomas and Delayna Waite each hit a double and Logan Miller smacked a triple.
With two outs in the top of the first, Silva walked for the Pirates. She went to second and third on passed balls, and then scored on a single by Gayer. Hillmick's 2-run homer gave Willamette a 2-1 lead with two outs in the bottom of the inning. Mcleod, who reached first base on a fielding error and later stole second base, also scored on the play.
The Pirates scored one run in the second and four runs in the third to move in front 6-2. In the second, Miller tripled with two outs and scored on a single by Desi Graham. In the third, Silva singled and later scored the first of Whitworth's four runs when Thomas hit a sacrifice fly to left field.
Thomas' three-run homer in the top of the fourth increased Whitworth's lead to 9-2. The Pirates completed the run rule win by scoring twice in the top of the fifth and then holding the Bearcats scoreless in the bottom of the fifth.
Schwaier-Wolf struck out four batters and allowed just two runs -- both unearned -- over the first four innings. She improved to 6-1 o the season. Gayer was 3 of 4 for the Pirates with a run and two RBIs. Thomas finished 2 for 2 with a double, a homer, one run and four RBIs. McNaught went 2 of 4, while Silva walked twice and scored three runs.
Hillmick's home led Willamette. She was 1 of 2 for the game. Fierstos and Olivia Scott (Jr., C, San Francisco, CA/Lowell HS) each contributed a single for the Bearcats.
Big Moment of the Day for Willamette
Bailey Hillmick smacked a two-run homer in the bottom of the
first inning of the second game to give the Bearcats a 2-1 lead
over the Pirates. It was her second home run of the year and
her third home run in two seasons with the Bearcats.