by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – The Whitworth Pirates celebrated senior day with a sweep, defeating the Lewis & Clark Pioneers in both games of Sunday's Northwest Conference softball doubleheader.
The Pirates move to 21-13 overall and 14-8 in the Northwest Conference. The 2018 campaign is Whitworth's seventh-straight 20-win season. Lewis & Clark fell to 8-20 overall and 7-18 in NWC play.
Game 1: Whitworth 7, Lewis & Clark 2
After giving up two runs in the third inning, the Bucs scored seven unanswered runs to guarantee a series victory.
The Pios struck first in the top of the third inning. With runners on first and second, Frankie Warden singled up the middle, scoring the first run of the game. Then, after a fifteen minute rain delay, Atiesha Norton doubled to the wall in right, driving in Stephanie Garcia.
After allowing the pair of runs, Whitworth responded in the bottom of the frame. Lowery started the rally with a bunt single and advanced to third on an error and wild pitch. McNaught followed with a triple that landed at the base of the wall in center field, scoring Lowery. Michelle Silva continued the hit parade with a game-tying double to right-center field and scored on an error by the right fielder to give Whitworth a 3-2 lead.
Sara Gayer continued the offensive onslaught in the fifth inning, hitting a two-run home run that bounced off the top of the wall in left-center field. The home run was Gayer's second of the year and gave the Bucs a 5-2 lead.
The Pirates added two more runs in the sixth inning on a triple from Lowery and a groundout from Chelsey Hayes.
Outside of her struggles in the third inning, Madelyn Carlson tossed an excellent game from the circle. The freshman threw a complete game, giving up 7 hits and striking out 1 batter. Only one of her two runs allowed was earned.
Game 2: Whitworth 10, Lewis & Clark 2 (5 innings)
The Pirates hot bats carried over into game two and five runs in the first inning were more than enough to secure a sweep.
Silva and Kelsey Downey did the damage for Whitworth. Silva opened the scoring by cranking a two-run double into right-center field. Then, Downey snuck a line drive down the right field line and came all the way around for an inside-the-park home run.
Whitworth added another run in the second inning when Silva stole second base and Lowery came in to score on the throw to second. The run gave Whitworth 13 unanswered runs against the Pios between the two games.
The Pioneers ended that run in the top of the fourth inning. Sydney Cross singled up the middle to score Lewis & Clark's first run in eight innings. Lisa Kumasaka added another when her single into left field plated Cross.
After giving up the pair of runs and being held scoreless for consecutive innings, the Bucs put together one more big inning to give themselves a mercy-rule win. Lowery kicked off the scoring by lining a single off the third basemen's glove. The freshman's bases-loaded line drive scored two Pirates, giving them an 8-2 lead. Then, Hayes sent both teams home early with a single into right field, plating two more Pirates for a 10-2 win.
Lowery and Downey led the Bucs at the plate. Lowery went 3-3, scored three runs, and drove in two more, while Downey finished 2-3 with the inside-the-park home run.
Looking Ahead: The Pirates travel to Forest Grove, Ore. to take on Pacific (Ore.) on April 14-15.