This weekend WU’s softball team played its first Northwest Conference (NWC) series against Pacific University. The team put together a couple of strong fights, but WU got swept in four games and remain winless through the first two weeks of the season.
WU built a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning, as sophomore Breianna Mcleod was hit by a pitch to start the game. Mcleod stole second and third base and put herself in scoring position. One out later, Mcleod scored on a single by junior Jocelyn Glasgo. Glasgo stole second base and scored on a double courtesy of sophomore Bailey Hillmick. Sophomore Danielle Koontz pinch-ran for Hillmick and scored when junior Vanessa Almaraz hit a two-run home run to center-field.
Pacific answered right back with two runs of their own on the bottom of the first. WU tacked on one more run in the second inning to increase the margin slightly. First-year Payten Healy hit a single into center-field. Healy made it to third base when first-year Kilani Fierstos smacked a double. Glasgo walked to fill the bases. Almaraz was hit by a pitch, which resulted in Healy crossing the plate.
In the bottom of the second inning, Pacific scored three runs and tied the game. The first run was scored on a bases-loaded single. The second runner crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly ball from Jill Uyeda. Montana Vaught scored the third run by stealing home.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, with two outs, a Boxers player hit a single that allowed the go-ahead runner to score. Uyeda hit a double and the Boxers scored again, giving Pacific a 7-5 advantage at the end of the fourth inning. WU had a few opportunities in the top of the fifth and six to score but were unable to convert.
In WU’s second game, Pacific’s Morgan Masters pitched all seven innings and only allowed one hit, one walk and one run. Although Masters for the most part stopped the Bearcats, she couldn’t stop Glasgo who sent the ball over the left side of the fence for a home run.
In the Bearcats’ third game, WU scored once in the first inning and twice in the second one. Healy walked with one out in the first inning. Glasgo hit a single and advanced to second base on an error. Almaraz followed it up with a sacrifice fly that brought Healey home and sent Glasgo to third. In the second inning, first-year Kelsey Wong batted a single up the middle. The next batter, Fierstos, reached first base on a fielder’s choice that resulted in all runners being safe. Wong eventually scored on a double hit by Mcleod. Two batters late, Glasgo hit a single that allowed Fierstos to reach home plate.
Pacific moved to a 5-3 lead after scoring five runs in the bottom of the second inning. The Boxers recorded four hits that inning, including a bunt single, a two-run single and an RBI double followed up with a two-run single.
In the third inning, the Bearcats tied the game. Junior Olivia Scott hit a single while Almaraz walked. Scott and Almaraz both advanced base on a hit from first-year Amber Griffith. They both scored when Wong reached base on a throwing error by the third baseman. In the bottom of the third, Pacific broke the deadlock by plating three runs, giving them a 9-5 lead and the win.
In the fourth game, Pacific limited the Bearcats to two hits. The Boxers put up five runs in the third inning and two more in the fourth. In the top of the fourth inning, Glasgo walked, ran to second on a ground out and crossed home when Almaraz hit a single. This was WU’s only run of the game. This game was dominated by the Boxers’ offense, who amassed 11 hits.
The softball team will be playing the first home games of the season on Saturday and Sunday, Mar. 9 and 10, against Whitworth University. The teams will play a doubleheader each day, the first pitch is set to be thrown at 12 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.