By Jarin Kobashigawa
Over the weekend, the Willamette softball team took on Lewis & Clark College for their second Northwest Conference series this season. In the first game of the series, the Bearcats came out strong, pounding out 13 hits and run-ruling the Pioneers in six innings. In the first inning, Danielle Koontz walked, advanced to second-base on a wild pitch then scored on an RBI single by Jocelyn Glasgo. Glasgo also pitched for Willamette and was able to limit the Pioneers to only six hits and two runs. Glasgo was also 2-for-3 on an RBI single and a two-run homer in the second inning.
In the second inning Bailey Hillmick drove in Maya Shipway, who reached first on a single, and Vanessa Almaraz, who got on by a fielder’s choice. In the third, Kea Gier blasted an RBI single to expand the Bearcat’s lead. Breianna Mcleod drove in Olivia Scott, and Sofia Magnani on an RBI single up the middle. In the sixth Almaraz finished the game with a double to left field which drove home Koontz who scored the final run of the game.
In the second game of the day, the Pioneers came out firing and the Bearcats fell just short of a win. Lewis & Clark took a quick 4-0 lead, but in the third inning Almaraz’s double drove in Shipway, who singled to reach first base. Magnani smacked a single to left field which allowed Almaraz to advance to third, and then an error permitted Almaraz to score. Four runs were added to the Pioneer’s score that consisted of five hits. The Bearcats picked up two runs in the bottom of the fifth to make the score 4-8, but the Pioneers continued to add to their score. In the bottom of the sixth Willamette had a two-out rally and decreased the lead to one run. Mcleod singled and then scored on a wild pitch. Shipway had a two run RBI, and Almaraz followed with a single which drove in Shipway. The extra two runs in the seventh by the Pioneers sealed the game for them.
On Sunday, the Bearcats lost the first game after five innings, but came back to tie the series at 2-2 in a one run victory. In the first game, the Bearcats committed four errors which allowed the Pioneers to score 11 unearned runs. In the first inning, the Pioneers scored three runs on a wild pitch and an error. The Bearcats battled back with one run in each inning until the third.
In the first, Bishop, who reached first on a throwing error, scored on a single by Almaraz. In the second, Scott, who pinch ran for Hillmick, scored on an RBI single by Gier. In the third, Shipway led off the inning with a double, then scored on a double by Almaraz. The in the fourth inning Lewis & Clark score ten runs, nine of which were unearned.
In the second game Reanna Lancaster, and Morgan Penn collectively threw an outstanding game, and prevented the Pioneers from scoring any runs. Lancaster allowed two hits in five innings, while Penn threw the final two innings and recorded her first save. Willamette scored its only run in the fifth inning when Glasgo tripled to right center with only one out. Shipway had a sacrifice fly to left field which sent Scott, who pinch ran for Glasgo, home to score the go-ahead run. The Pioneers threatened to tie the game in the sixth inning when one of their players was attempting to round third and head home. However, Emily Bishop, who was in left field, sent the ball home and allowed Scott to tag her out and prevent the run from scoring. Willamette improved to 2-7 overall, and 2-4 in the NWC. Lewis & Clark moved to 5-7 on the season, and 4-4 in the NWC. The Bearcats will face off against Linfield in McMinnville, Oregon on Saturday, March 17, and is set to begin at 12 p.m. (PDT)