The softball team swept Puget Sound University (PSU) 4-0 and helping softball Head Coach Damian Williams set a school record. After the first game of the doubleheader on Saturday, April 13, Williams claimed the school record for most coaching wins with one team, amassing 358 wins. After the weekend, Williams accumulated 361 wins.
The first game on Saturday was relatively quiet from both teams. WU and PSU combined for a total of seven hits for four runs. WU took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning when senior Emily Bishop, who reached first on a hit by pitch, scored on a PSU throwing error. The Bearcats struck again in the bottom of the fifth when Bishop singled to start the inning. First-year Peyton Healy doubled to right center and drove Bishop home for a 2-0 lead. WU added insurance in the bottom of the sixth inning with a sacrifice fly hit by first-year Kelsey that Wong which brought home junior Vanessa Almaraz. PSU was able to score one run, but was unable to make the full comeback and lost 3-1.
WU controlled the second game on Saturday for a 5-3 win. Healy homered in the bottom of the first to give the Bearcats an early 2-0 lead, bringing home Glasgo who reached first after she walked. In the bottom of the third, Glasgo reached first once again on a walk and later scored when sophomore Bailey Hillmick hit a ball that resulted in a fielding error. Wong followed Hillmick with a single up the middle that brought Hillmick home to make the score 4-0. PSU commanded two runs in the top of the fourth inning to close the margin to two runs, 4-2. WU added on one more run in the bottom of the sixth inning. Sophomore Breianna Mcleod hit a ball that was fumbled by the PSU shortstop, which brought in first-year pinch runner Jewel Fleckenstein. PSU scored one more run in the top of the seventh before submitting to the Bearcats, 5-3.
Willamette carried their momentum into the first game on Sunday where they came out on top, 8-5. WU got the ball rolling immediately, taking the lead in the bottom of the first with Glasgo’s solo home run to left field. The Bearcats scored at least one run in every inning. After PSU scored a run in the top of the second to tie the game, first-year Cassie Cosler brought home Almaraz with a bunt to reclaim the lead 2-1. PSU tied the game in the top of the fifth when Marissa Oda of PSU hit a three-run home run. WU did not shy away and coming in the bottom of the fifth and sixth, conjured up three runs to take the game.
In the final game of the series, the Bearcats used 10 hits and capitalized on four Logger errors to earn the fourth win of the weekend, 12-9. As if it were routine, the Bearcats took the lead in the bottom of the first inning. Wong brought home Hillmick and Bishop with a single to the shortstop that led to a throwing error. Cosler singled to second base and brought home Wong to help WU take a 3-0 lead. PSU came back in the top of the second and third with five runs to take a 5-3 lead. WU answered with one run in the bottom of the third when Mcleod brought in Cosler who reached first on a single and stole second base to move into scoring position.
The bottom of the fourth and fifth inning was crucial to the win as the Bearcats scored seven runs to close the deficit and also take the lead. Hillmick ‘s single to right field, brought home junior Maya Shipway and moved Glasgo to third base. Glasgo scored on a PSU throwing error and Hillmick crossed home plate on a single by Cosler. By the end of the fifth inning, the score was 11-8. The efforts of Shipway, Glasgo, Healy and Hillmick urged the Bearcats into taking their commanding three-run lead. Both teams scored one additional run before the game ended, 12-9.
The Bearcats will take on George Fox University on Friday and Saturday, April 19 and 20. On Friday, WU will be going to Newberg, OR to play, and on Saturday, GFU will be visiting Salem, OR. The game on Saturday is set to start at 12:00 and 2:30 p.m. (PST). This will also be WU’s final regular season game.