By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
CLAREMONT, Calif. -- Alex Shields (Sr., C/OF, Lake Forest, CA/El Toro HS) earned three hits in four at bats to lead Willamette University to a 6-3 victory over Pomona-Pitzer (Calif.) in the second game of a doubleheader on Tuesday, March 29 at Wig Beach Field. Four Willamette pitchers combined to get the win. In the first game, Pomona-Pitzer's Liz Rodarte pitched a complete-game one-hitter, as the Sagehens prevailed, 2-0.
The Bearcats completed the day with a 9-9 overall record. Pomona-Pitzer moved to 7-17. Willamette went 2-2 during its four-game trip to Southern California.
Rodarte Tosses One-Hitter as Sagehens Win Opener
For the second consecutive season, Rodarte pitched a masterful game against the Bearcats to win a pitcher's duel with Jade Smith (Sr., P, Chico, CA/Chico HS).
Last year, Rodarte held the Bearcats to two hits during a 1-0 victory in the only game between the two teams. On Tuesday, she limited Willamette to one hit -- a single by Shields -- in a 2-0 win. Rodarte struck out seven battles in 2016 and added 10 strikeouts on Tuesday.
Smith pitched well in both encounters. A year ago, she allowed just three hits on two singles and one double. This year, she gave up eight hits with only one double.
Both runs were scored by the Sagehens in the second inning. Haylee Sindt opened the inning with a single to right field. Sam Carlson followed with a single to left. Sofia Baig provided a sacrifice bunt toward third base to advance both runners. Mary Ornela hit a single to lef to drive in Sindt. Carlson scored one out later on an infield hit to shortstop by Mary Ornelas
Carlson was the only player on either team with more than one hit. She went 2 for 3, including a double in the sixth inning. The Sagehens also benefited from a walk during the sixth, but left runners at second and third.
In the top of the seventh, Darian Gibson (So., LF, Newport Beach, CA/Calvary HS) was the first batter for the Bearcats. She reached first on a throwing error by the third baseman. With one out, Gibson stole second base.
Kea Gier (Fr., 3B, Kaneohe, HI/Iolani School) flied out to center field for the second out, but advanced Gibson to third. Rodarte struck out Taiana Creekmur (Fr., C, Honolulu, HI/St. Francis HS) for the final out of the game.
Bearcats Score Four Runs in Third Inning of Second Game
Willamette never trailed in the second game, as the Bearcats built a 4-0 lead in the top of the third inning. Alexia Pratt (Sr., CF, Roseville, CA/Woodcreek HS) hit a leadoff single to begin the stanza. Olivia Scott (Fr., 1B, San Francisco, CA/Lowell HS) walked, and then Miki Takara (Fr., 2B, Pearl City, HI/Maryknoll HS) used a sacrifice bunt to put the runners at second and third.
Shields singled to center to drive in Pratt with the game's first run. Mallory Asaro (Sr., SS, Rocklin, CA/Rocklin HS) reached first and loaded the bases on an error by pitcher Alondra Reynoso.
After Pomona-Pitzer recorded an out, Creekmur reached first and second on another error, this time by the second baseman. Scott and Shields scored on the play. Asaro crossed the plate on a wild pitch. The Bearcats left the bases loaded at the end of the inning.
The Sagehens cut the margin to 4-1 in the bottom of the third. Reynoso singled to start the inning. Ornelas followed with a triple, but Reynoso was thrown out at home on a relay from Shields in right field to Sofia Magnani (Fr., P, Belmont, CA/Notre Dame HS) in the circle to Payton Reynolds (Fr., UT, Reno, NV/Reno HS) at the plate.
WU tacked on single runs in the fifth and sixth frames for a 6-1 advantage. In the fifth, Creekmur walked with two outs and stole second base. She scored on a single to right center by Reynolds. In the sixth, Scott was hit by a pitch, stole second base, went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Takara and scored on a single by Shields.
Pomona-Pitzer cut the lead to 6-3 with a two-run homer by Bianca Cockrell in the bottom of the sixth.
Jocelyn Glasgo (Fr., P/OF, Rochester, WA/Tumwater HS) pitched the seventh inning for the Bearcats. She gave up a leadoff single to Rodarte, who played first base during the game. Rodarte was tagged out when Kristen Hong hit into a fielder's choice. Hong was later thrown out trying to steal second base. Glasgo struck out Izzy Deatherage to end the game. It was Glasgo's third save. Magnani improved to 1-1 with the win.
Shields' 3-for-4 effort with a run and two RBIs led the Bearcats on offense. Scott was the only player on either team to score two runs. For Pomona-Pitzer, Rodarte was 2 for 2 and Cockrell went 2 for 3, including her home run.
Up Next for Willamette
The Bearcats will travel up the road to Portland, Oregon, this weekend to take on Lewis & Clark College in Northwest Conference doubleheaders on Saturday, April 1 and Sunday, April 2. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m. (PDT) each day.