by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – The Whitworth Pirates led for almost the entirety of Sunday afternoon's Northwest Conference softball doubleheader as they swept the Pacific Lutheran Lutes.
The sweep continues a six-game winning streak for the Bucs, who are now 14-8 overall and 7-3 in Northwest Conference play. The Lutes fall to 8-14 overall and 3-9 in the NWC.
Game 1: Whitworth 4, Pacific Lutheran 0
The Pirates scored all four of their runs in the first inning and Madelyn Carlson ensured they would be enough to win game one.
Whitworth led for the majority of the contest thanks to Silva's grand slam. After Carlson shut down the Lutes in the top of the first inning, the Whitworth offense went to work in the bottom of the frame.
Kaylie Lowery opened the inning with a single and advanced to second on Kinsey McNaught's bunt. Chelsey Hayes reached base on an error and Sara Gayer followed with a walk, setting the stage for Silva's grand slam. The junior took advantage of an elevated off-speed pitch, sending it over the left-center field wall to give the Bucs a 4-0 lead.
After getting the lead, Carlson made sure it stood up for the next six innings. The freshman shut out the Lutes, allowing six hits with five strikeouts. PLU threatened just once, but Carlson struck out consecutive Lutes with runners on first and second in the sixth inning to escape her only jam.
The shutout gave Carlson her tenth win of the season. Marissa Miller was hit with the loss for PLU.
Game 2: Whitworth 10, Pacific Lutheran 2 (6 innings)
Morgan Portlock went 2-4 with 3 RBIs to lead Whitworth in its second victory of the day.
As with the first game, the Bucs jumped on the board early with three runs in the first inning. Hayes singled in Lowery and Natalie Edlin knocked in two more with a single of her own to give Whitworth a 3-0 after one frame.
The Pirates countered runs from PLU in the third and sixth with two of their own in the third and fifth to hang on to their three-run lead. Silva doubled in McNaught in the third, and Portlock drove in Silva in the fifth.
Whitworth broke the game open in the sixth inning. Hayes opened the scoring by singling home Lowery and advancing to third when she saw the Lutes abandon it on the throw. Gayer made PLU pay with an RBI single to right field, scoring Hayes. Then, the Bucs loaded the bases for Portlock, who took advantage by slicing a single into right field to drive in two more runs. Allie Rude ensured that Whitworth hit the eight-run mercy rule with a double over the head of Bailey Plumb in center field.
Ashley Trueblood picked up the win with a nice outing in the circle. The junior allowed nine hits and two runs over six innings of work. She struck out two batters and didn't walk any Lutes. Kennedy Robillard was hit with the loss for PLU.
Looking Ahead: The Pirates remain at home on March 24-25 when they square off with Willamette.