By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University kept battling against the University of Puget Sound on Sunday, April 14 until the Bearcats had 23 total hits, 10 stolen bases and 20 runs scored, plus contributions from nearly the entire lineup. The result was a pair of victories over the Loggers, 8-5 and 12-9, at the WU Softball Field. Willamette swept the four-game Northwest Conference series, after claiming wins of 3-1 and 5-3 on Saturday.
The sweep improved Willamette to 7-28 overall, 6-18 in the NWC. Puget Sound fell to 4-31 on the season, 2-22 in the NWC.
"This team is amazing," Willamette Head Coach Damian Williams said. "I am truly proud of their efforts this weekend."
Shipway and Bishop Hit RBI Singles to Break Tie in Opener
The Bearcats never trailed during the first game, but the Loggers tied the score three times. After Puget Sound equalized at 1-1 and 2-2, the Bearcats plated three unanswered runs with two in the third and one in the fourth for a 5-2 lead. The Loggers tied the score for a final time when Marissa Oda belted a three-run homer to center field in the top of the fifth.
In the bottom of the fifth inning when Maya Shipway (Jr., 1B/UT, Bothell, WA/The Bear Creek School) and Emily Bishop (Sr., OF, Maple Valley, WA/Tahoma HS/Pierce College) hit RBI singles to break the 5-5 tie and give the Bearcats a 7-5 lead. Danielle Koontz (So., OF, Cupertino, CA/Monta Vista HS) added an RBI double in the sixth inning to complete the scoring in Willamette's 8-5 win.
Jocelyn Glasgo (Jr., P/OF, Rochester, WA/Tumwater HS) started the game in the circle and also scored the first run on a solo homer with one out in the bottom of the first. After the Loggers scored a run in the top of the second, the Bearcats snuck back in front 2-1 on an RBI single by Cassie Cosler (Fr., 1B, Albany, OR/West Albany HS) that landed just in front of home plate. Scoring on the play was Vanessa Almaraz (Jr., OF, Simi Valley, CA/Simi Valley HS), who opened the inning with a double and went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Kelsey Wong (Fr., UT, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School).
With the score tied at 2-2 in the third, Willamette scored on an RBI double by Payten Healy (Fr., SS, Crescent City, CA/Del Norte HS. Healy crossed the plate later in the inning on a double steal. In the fourth inning, Healy provided another RBI double.
Healy and Glasgo each went 3 for 4 at the plate and scored two runs. Healy earned two RBIs and Glasgo added one RBI. Bishop was 2 of 4 with a run and an RBI.
Glasgo pitched the first three innings and went back to the circle with two runners on base and no outs in the top of the seventh. She struck out Oda and then forced Kelsie Sullivan to line into an 8-4 double play to end the game. Morgan Penn (Jr., P/1B, Beaverton, OR/Southridge HS), who provided middle relief, improved to 2-4. Glasgo earned her first save.
Bearcats Win Second Game, as Lopez-Martinez Earns Save
The second game featured four lead changes.
Willamette took a 3-0 lead by scoring a trio of runs in the first inning. Puget Sound was in front 5-3 after 2 1/2 innings and led 6-4 entering the bottom of the fourth, when the Bearcats added another three runs for a 7-6 lead. The Loggers surged into an 8-7 advantage in the top of the fifth, but WU plated four runs in the bottom of the inning for an 11-8 edge. Each team scored once in the sixth inning, leaving Willamette with the game's final margin at 12-9.
The game featured key plays by both teams on offense, as Willamette achieved a 10-9 edge in total hits. Kelsey Wong of WU hit an infield single with two runners moving to drive in the game's first two runs. In the top of the third, Kaitlyn Webster of Puget Sound pounded out a three-run homer to give the Loggers their first lead.
Bailey Hillmick (So., DP/UT, Athena, OR/Weston-McEwen HS) and Cosler each hit RBI singles during Willamette's three-run fourth inning. The Bearcats earned four hits in the bottom of the fifth, including three base hits that each drove in a run. One run in the fifth scoed on a wild itch, helping the Bearcats move in front for good.
With most of the pitchers on both teams exhausted from more than three games of action, it was Aaliyah Lopez-Martinez (Jr., P, Northridge, CA/Cleveland HS/L.A. Valley College) of Willamette who was the most rested and provided important relief in the final two innings of the weekend. Lopez-Martinez, who pitched one inning in Sunday's first game, went to the circle with Willamette leading 11-9 with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth.
Lopez-Martinez quickly ended the inning, as she struck out Webster and caused Mackensie Pearlstein to fly out to right. The Bearcats added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth. In the top of the seventh, Lopez-Martinez faced just four batters. Jessica Shimoda lined out to right field and Hana DeGuzman struck out. After Hailee Ueyama walked, Abbi Wong hit into the final out with a fly ball to left center. Lopez-Martinez earned her first save for the Bearcats. Glasgo, who pitched two innings of middle relief, picked up the win.
Cosler went 3 of 4 for WU with a run and two RBIs. Hillmick finished 2 for 2 with two runs, two walks and two RBIs. Shipway was 2 for 3 with two runs and an RBI.
Up Next for Willamette
The Bearcats will play a Northwest Conference doubleheader at George Fox University on Friday, April 19. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. (PDT).
Big Moment of the Day for Willamette
Aaliyah Lopez-Martinez provided a key moment when she entered
the second game as the pitcher with the bases loaded and one out
in the sixth with WU holding an 11-9 lead. Lopez-Martinez got out of
the inning with a strikeout and a fly out. She also pitched in the seventh
to earn her first save. During the doubleheader, she pitched a total of
three scoreless and hitless innings with three strikeouts with two walks.