SPOKANE, Wash. – The Whitworth University softball team returns to Oregon for its second Northwest Conference series of 2019 riding a seven-game winning streak. The Pirates travel to Willamette University for four games, with doubleheaders beginning at noon on Saturday and Sunday.
Watch the Pirates' softball schedule for live links to this weekend's games.
The Pirates: Whitworth is 8-3 overall and 3-0 in the NWC after winning the first three games at George Fox last weekend. The Pirates invoked the NCAA run rule in all three victories over the Bruins.
The Pirates won the opener 12-3 in five innings, using an 8-run third to open a 10-1 lead. The top of Whitworth's order did most of the damage. Leadoff Kaylie Lowery went 4-4, drove in three runs and scored three times. Kinsey McNaught went 4-4, doubled twice and drove in five runs. The pair combined for eight of Whitworth's 12 hits in the game. Drea Schwaier-Wolf went the distance in the circle, allowing three runs and five hits.
The Pirates won Saturday's second game 10-1 in six innings, breaking open a close game with six runs in the fifth and three more in the sixth. Michelle Silva doubled and tripled, while McNaught and Maddy Thomas hit home runs. Madelyn Carlson gave up only one run on three hits in six innings to improve to 3-2.
Another late offensive outburst led to a 16-6 6-inning win in Sunday's first contest. Michelle Silva and Sarah Gayer each hit a home run and drove in three runs apiece. McNaught went 4-4 and drove in five runs, continuing her hot weekend. Schwaier-Wolf pitched the first five innings to improve to 5-1. Kylie Harris finished up with one inning of work.
Whitworth led 8-4 in the series finale before George Fox rallied with four runs in the bottom of the seventh. The teams played two more innings before the game was suspended by darkness. It will be completed if necessary.
McNaught's Onslaught: McNaught hit .688 in the weekend series, including six extra base hits for a slugging average of 1.250. She drove in 14 runs and scored five times, earning Northwest Conference Softball Position Student-Athlete of the Week honors.
Time Off With Good Behavior: All seven victories in Whitworth's current winning streak have come by the NCAA run rule. The Pirates have been ahead by at least eight runs by the end of the fifth or sixth inning, invoking the NCAA's mercy rule. It is the longest streak of run-rule victories in school history.
The Opponents: Willamette comes into its first home games of the season 0-9 overall and 0-4 in the NWC. The Bearcats were swept in their league-opening series at Pacific (Ore.) last weekend, losing 7-5, 4-1 on Saturday, 9-5 and 7-1 on Sunday. Junior OF/P Jocelyn Glasgo was a first team All-NWC honoree last season. She is hitting .471 with a home run, three doubles, eight walks and five stolen bases in 2019.
Whitworth won all four meetings against the Bearcats in 2018.
Slammin' Silva: Michelle Silva is closing out one of the best careers in school history. The two-time first team honoree has a .366 career average as a Pirate. She has driven in 108 runs in 141 games with 35 doubles, eight triples and 17 home runs. Her career slugging average is .610.
The Coach: Cristal Brown is in her eighth season leading the Whitworth softball team. She has posted a record of 190-113 through her first seven years with three NWC titles to her credit (2015, 2016, 2017). Brown has coached 30 players to All-Northwest Conference recognition.