By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
TACOMA, Wash. -- Mallory Asaro (Sr., SS, Rocklin, CA/Rocklin HS) went 4 for 4 at the plate with a double and a triple to lead Willamette University to an 11-5 victory over University of Puget Sound in the first game of a Northwest Conference doubleheader on Saturday, Feb. 25. The second game was tied at 9-9 when play was suspended due to darkness at the end of the seventh inning.
The second game will be completed on Sunday, Feb. 26 before the start of the scheduled doubleheader between the Bearcats and the Loggers. Action will begin on Sunday at 12 p.m. (PST). Stats for the second game will be included with a separate story on Sunday.
Jade Smith (Sr., P, Chico, CA/Chico HS) earned the pitching win in the opener. She threw seven innings and faced 31 of 33 batters. She allowed eight hits and three runs, while recording four strikeouts with no walks. Smith is 1-2 on the season. Puget Sound starter Jaci Young allowed six hits and six runs in 3 1/3 innings, while falling to 1-1.
Asaro tripled to start the second inning of the first game. She scored the first run when Kea Gier (Fr., 3B, Kaneohe, HI/Iolani School) followed with a single up the middle. Pacific moved in front 3-1 with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Key hits for the Loggers were an RBI double by Jessica Shimoda, followed by a two-run homer from Haley Gray.
Willamette pulled into the lead with one run in the third and five runs in the fourth. The Bearcats also tallied a run in the fifth and two in the sixth to take a 10-3 advantage.
Asaro blasted an RBI double in the third inning. Alex Shields (Sr., C, Lake Forest, CA/El Toro HS) brought home three runs with a double in the fourth. Miki Takara (Fr., 2B, Pearl City, HI/Maryknoll HS) reached base on an error in the fifth and later scored on another error.
Payton Reynolds (Fr., UT, Reno, NV/Reno HS) doubled, Asaro singled, and Morgan Penn (Fr., P/1B, Beaverton, OR/Southridge HS) blasted a two-run double in the sixth. After Puget Sound tallied two runs in the botto of the sixth, the Bearcats completed the scoring with an RBI single by Asaro in the seventh.
Asaro's 4-for-4 performance with three-quarters of the cycle led the way for WU. Darian Gibson (So., OF, Newport Beach, CA/Calvary HS) was 3 of 4 with a run scored, while Reynolds went 2 for 4 and also scored once. Shields finished 1 fo2 with three walks, three runs and three RBIs.
Amber Popovich was 3 for 4 with an RBI for Puget Sound. Gray and Shimoda each went 1 for 2 and scored two runs. Gray earned two RBIs and Shimoda had one RBI.