by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SALEM, Ore. – The Whitworth Pirates stretched their win streak out to nine games with a doubleheader sweep of the Willamette Bearcats Saturday afternoon.
Game 1: Whitworth 5, Willamette 2
Excellent pitching and opportunistic offense gave the Bucs a victory in the day's first game.
The Pirates took advantage of early errors to score the game's first two runs. Kinsey McNaught reached on an errant throw from Bearcat shortstop Payten Healy before scoring after Willamette tried to catch Michelle Silva stealing. Silva crossed home later in the frame when a throw from first to third sailed into left field.
Whitworth added another run in the following frame when Morgan Portlock singled home Thomas to put the Bucs up 3-0.
The Bucs maintained their three-run lead for much of the contest as a pair of Bearcat runs in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings bookended Rheanne Lewis' two-RBI triple in the top of the fifth.
The three-run lead proved to be plenty for Madelyn Carlson (4-2), who picked up the win after allowing just two runs in seven innings of work. Carlson allowed three hits and struck out five Bearcats.
Jocelyn Glasgo (0-3) was hit with the loss. She allowed five runs - three earned – in seven innings. The Pirates managed seven hits and two walks off Glasgo.
McNaught and Morgan Portlock led the Whitworth bats with multi-hit days. Portlock also drove in a run and McNaught scored one. Seven Pirates reached base against Glasgo.
Game 2: Whitworth 11, Willamette 2 (5 innings)
Whitworth piled up 14 hits in the nightcap to invoke the mercy-rule for the eighth time in nine games and earn the sweep.
Early on, the Pirates trailed 2-1 after Bailey Hillmick's two-run home run in the first inning, but the Bucs responded with nine unanswered runs from bats up and down the lineup.
Desi Graham drove in the first with a game-tying single to center field in the second inning. Thomas put the Bucs ahead in the following frame with a sacrifice fly, which Graham and Logan Miller followed with two more RBI singles.
Thomas struck again in the fourth, belting a three-run home run that gave Whitworth a 9-2 lead. The Pirates closed out the game in the fifth after Delayna Waite and McNaught executed a double steal to put the Bucs up eight and Sara Gayer drove in her second run of the game as insurance.
Drea Schwaier-Wolf (6-1) tossed four innings in the circle, allowing no earned runs –both Bearcat runs were unearned- and striking out four. Rose Meshell threw a scoreless inning to close out the game.
Looking Ahead: The Pirates remain in Oregon to close out their series with Willamette. Sunday's doubleheader begins at 12 p.m.