by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
FOREST GROVE, Ore. – The Pacific (Ore.) Boxers and Whitworth Pirates combined for 27 runs in an offensive explosion as the teams split Saturday's Northwest Conference softball doubleheader.
The Pirates moved to 22-16 on the year and 15-11 in the NWC. The Boxers are now 21-15 overall and 15-13 in conference play. The two teams are battling for third place in the NWC, which Whitworth can clinch with a win over Willamette on Tuesday.
Game 1: Whitworth 7, Pacific (Ore.) 4
Whitworth bounced back from a pair of losses on Friday night with a commanding 7-4 win in game one.
After struggling to score in an 8-1 loss on Friday, the Pirates jumped on the board early in the first game. With two outs and runners on first and second, Sara Gayer drove a double into right-center field, scoring both.
Kelsey Downey gave the Bucs another run in the fourth inning when she singled home Gayer, who had doubled to left-center in the prior at-bat. The single gave Whitworth a 3-0 lead.
The Boxers cut in to the Pirates advantage in the following frame. Singles from Taylor Nishimura and Nicole Martinez sliced the lead to 3-2 entering the sixth inning.
Both teams added a run to their totals in the sixth. Natalie Edlin doubled into the left-center gap to score pinch-runner Brynn Radke, giving the Bucs a 4-2 lead. Hailey Miller got the run right back for Pacific with a home run to left field in the bottom of the frame.
Leading by one in the top of the seventh inning, the Pirates added three insurance runs to ensure a win. Chelsey Hayes doubled down the line in left field to open the scoring and Michelle Silva drove in Hayes with a single. Morgan Portlock added another run with a single up the middle.
Game 2: Whitworth 10 Pacific (Ore.) 6
Pacific scored six straight runs to open the game and rode the big lead to a win in game two.
The Boxers opened the scoring with a pair of home runs in the first inning. Miller started the day with a three-run blast and Montana Vaught added a solo shot to put Pacific up 4-0. A sacrifice fly and a single brought the lead out to 6-0.
The two teams traded runs in the fourth when Silva tripled and scored on a wild pitch and Miller drove in a run with a triple of her own.
The Pirates looked to be back in the game after a three-run fifth inning which included an RBI triple from Kinsey McNaught, but the Boxers used three runs in the fifth and sixth innings to ensure the victory.
Looking Ahead: The Pirates return home to take on Willamette on Tuesday, April 17. First pitch is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. as the Bucs look to secure third place in the NWC.