Softball Completes Series Sweep of Pacific

photo courtesy Kelly Bird, Linfield SID
photo courtesy Kelly Bird, Linfield SID

SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitworth University completed a sweep of its four-game Northwest Conference softball series against Pacific University with a pair of walk-off wins on Saturday at Diana Marks Field.  The Pirates won the opener 2-1 with a run in the bottom of the seventh, then took the nightcap 5-4 with a run in the bottom of the eighth.

Drea Schwaier-Wolf earned her second and third wins of the weekend in the circle for the Bucs.

Whitworth (27-9 overall, 21-5 NWC) clinched second place in the NWC standings and will be seeded second in the upcoming conference tournament next weekend.  The Boxers (23-16, 17-11) will likely be the NWC's third seed next weekend, which could mean the two squads will face off in their next full game.

The Pirates will complete a pair of suspended games on Wednesday at Linfield College, which will be the host-site of the NWC tournament.  The Pirates lead Linfield 4-2 in the sixth inning of a game suspended by rain on April 7. That suspension will resume at 5:00 pm on Wednesday.  Whitworth and George Fox will then complete a game tied 8-8 heading to the tenth inning that was suspended by darkness on March 3.

Game 1: Whitworth 2, Pacific (Ore.) 1
The Pirates scored the game-winning run on a throwing error, giving Schwaier-Wolf a complete-game victory in Saturday's opener.

The Boxers took a 1-0 lead in the second inning after Jill Uyeda tripled with one out and scored on an infield single from Kate Macaitis-Smith.

Whitworth tied the game in the bottom of the fourth when Kinsey McNaught doubled to center field and scored on Michelle Silva's two-out single up the middle.

The game looked to be going to extra innings when the first two Pirates were retired in the bottom of the seventh.  But Morgan Portlock doubled and Desi Graham worked a walk.  Kaylie Lowery singled to third base, but a desperation throw got away at first, allowing Portlock to break home with the winning run.

Schwaier-Wolf allowed only three hits and one run in seven innings to improve to 15-3.

Morgan Masters started in the circle for Pacific and allowed only one run on five hits in 5.2 innings.  Tiare Guerrero was the hard-luck losing pitcher in relief, falling to 5-3.

Game 2: Whitworth 5, Pacific (Ore.) 4 (8 innings)
Brynn Radke's sharp single to center field with two outs in the bottom of the eighth scored Gayer with the winning run.

Schwaier-Wolf (16-3) survived a two-run Pacific rally in the seventh that temporarily tied the game, and got the win in relief.  Schwaier-Wolf threw five innings and allowed two runs on seven hits.

Maddy Thomas drilled a two-run home run, her eighth of the year, to get the Bucs on the board in the second inning.  Kinsey McNaught added an RBI single later in the inning, but was thrown out trying to stretch to a double. 

Trailing 4-0, the Boxers scored two in the fourth inning on the benefit of only one hit.  Whitworth starting pitcher Madelyn Carlson was lifted after issuing a walk to open the inning.  Kylie Harris gave up another walk and an infield single, which scored a run when a throw to third base got away.  That's when Schwaier-Wolf came back in for the Bucs and after allowing a sacrifice fly, she kept the Boxers off the board until the seventh.

Pacific tied the game in the seventh on an RBI double by Montana Vaught and a run-scoring single from Hailey Miller.

Gayer opened the eighth with a single and Silva's sacrifice was bobbled at third base, giving the Pirates two runners.  Portlock laid down a successful sacrifice bunt.  After Thomas was retired on a foul out, Radke drilled a clean single to center for the winning run.

Carly Bursch threw five no-hit innings in relief of Cheyenne Datan.  But Guerrero (5-4) came on in the eighth and suffered her second loss of the day.