By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
TACOMA, Wash. -- Mallory Asaro (Sr., SS, Rocklin, CA/Rocklin HS) scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly by Steffany Dunn (Sr., RF, Colfax, CA/Colfax HS) in the top of the ninth inning, and Willamette University went on to defeat University of Puget Sound, 12-11, on Saturday, March 25, in a game that was tied at 9-9 when it was suspended after seven innings due to darkness on Feb. 25.
Willamette scored two more runs in the top of the ninth, with both runs crossing the plate on a single up the middle by Reanna Lancaster (So., P/DP, Los Altos, CA/Mountain View HS). Puget Sound scored twice in the bottom of the ninth, but left a runner at first base when Jessica Gott hit a grounder to the circle for the final out of the game.
After the completion of the suspended game, the Bearcats and the Loggers played a doubleheader (see separate story). Those two games were originally scheduled for Feb. 26, but were postponed due to the weather.
Jade Smith (Sr., P, Chico, CA/Chico HS) who entered the circle for Willamette with one out in the top of the eighth inning, recorded the pitching win. She improved to 4-4 on the season. Jaci Young, who pitched the final five innings on Feb. 25 and both innings on Saturday, fell to 3-5 with the loss.
WU outhit Puget Sound, 18-17. Asaro went 3 for 4 with three runs and two RBIs during the game. Asaro and Alex Shields (Sr., C, Lake Forest, CA/El Toro HS) each hit one home run. Shields was 3 for 5 overall with three runs and an RBI. Dunn hit a double and Payton Reynolds (Fr., UT, Reno, NV/Reno HS) provided a triple.
Erica Gott led the Loggers by going 4 for 6 with a run and two RBIs. Young was 3 for 5 with a grand slam in the fifth inning, a total of five RBIs and three runs scored. Kaitlyn Webster went 3 for 5 and scored one run.
Willamette surged out to a 7-0 lead in the first two-and-a-half innings when the game started on Feb. 25.
The Bearcats tallied four runs in the first inning, including the final two on a single to right field by Morgan Penn (Fr., P/1B, Beaverton, OR/Southridge HS). Shields smacked a solo home run to center field in the second inning. In the third, Asaro started the stanza with a solo homer to left field. Dunn added an RBI single later in the inning.
Puget Sound tied the game with RBI singles by Erica Gott and Jessica Shimoda in the bottom of the third. The Bearcats remained in front 7-2 until the Loggers exploded for seven runs on eight hits in the fifth inning. Young's grand slam brought in the final four runs to give Puget Sound a 9-7 lead.
Willamette battled back to tie the score with two runs in the top of the seventh. With one out, Reynolds drove in the first run with a triple. Olivia Scott (Fr., C, San Francisco, CA/Lowell HS) pinch-ran for Reynolds. Asaro followed with a walk, and stole second base. Scott scored the tying run on a single by Taiana Creekmur (Fr., C, Honolulu, HI/St. Francis HS). WU left the bases loaded.
Hari, who entered the circle for WU with two outs in the fifth inning, shut out the Loggers in the sixth and seventh frames. In the seventh, Amber Popovich reached first on an error with two outs, but Erica Gott lined out to right field on the final play before the game was suspended due to darkness.