McNaught Powers Pirates to Sunday Sweep

Photo courtesy Gregor Walz, Puget Sound SID
Photo courtesy Gregor Walz, Puget Sound SID

by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant 

TACOMA, Wash. – A pair of sterling pitching performances and an offensive attack powered by Kinsey McNaught led the Whitworth Pirates to a doubleheader sweep of the Puget Sound Loggers in a pair of Northwest Conference softball games. 

Sunday's wins push Whitworth's record up to 10-8 overall and 3-3 in Northwest Conference play. The Loggers fell to 3-14-1 overall and 1-7 in the NWC. 

McNaught led the Bucs at the plate, going 5-7 with three run and two RBIs. Kelsey Downey contributed one run and three RBIs, going 4-7. 

Game 1: Whitworth 9, Puget Sound 3 

A third inning rally erased an early Logger lead and the Bucs pulled away in the later innings to earn a win in the day's first game. 

Camille Goo gave Puget Sound the early lead with a bases-loaded single to center field, scoring a pair of Loggers. The 2-0 lead was Puget Sound's only one on the day. 

Whitworth bounced back with four runs in the third inning. Michelle Silva doubled to right field with the bases loaded to even the score at two. Kelsey Downey followed with an RBI single to score Sara Gayer and give the Bucs a 3-2 lead. The Pirates rounded out their rally with another RBI single from Allie Rude and finished the frame with a 4-2 lead. 

After a solo home run from Erica Gott cut the Pirate lead to 4-3, Whitworth added five more runs in the sixth and seventh innings to earn the win. In the sixth, Kinsey McNaught scored on an error by the catcher and Downey doubled in two more runs to extend the advantage to 7-3.

The following frame saw Rheanne Lewis score on a wild pitch and Chelsey Hayes single home McNaught, bringing the lead out to 9-3.   

Trueblood entered the game after Madelyn Carlson struggled in the first inning and contributed six frames of sterling relief to earn the win. Trueblood allowed one run on eight hits and struck out a batter in the win. Jessica Gott was hit with the loss for the Loggers. 

Game 2: Whitworth 3, Puget Sound 0 

Carlson recovered from a difficult first game to toss a four-hit shutout in game two, propelling the Bucs to another victory. 

The freshman allowed just four Loggers to reach base in the second game and no Puget Sound player advanced past second base all game. Carlson's record now stands at 8-3. 

The Whitworth offense did just enough to secure a second win. McNaught gave the Bucs an early lead when she singled home Lewis in the third inning. In the seventh, Maria Smith drove in Downey and McNaught knocked in Desi Graham to provide Carlson with two insurance runs. 

Lewis and McNaught led the Pirates' offense in game two. Both sophomores went 2-4. Lewis contributed a run, while McNaught drove in two. Downey, Silva, Smith and Hayes also picked up hits.

Looking Ahead: Whitworth plays its first series of the year on Diana Marks Field when the Pirates take on Pacific Lutheran March 17-18.