Bearcats Defeat George Fox 10-2 on Run Rule, after Bruins Win Opener, 3-0

Jade Smith (Sr., P, Chico, CA/Chico HS)
Jade Smith (Sr., P, Chico, CA/Chico HS)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University created double-digit scoring on the strength of seven hits, nine walks and three hit batsmen to down George Fox University, 10-2 on the run rule in six innings, during the second game of a Northwest Conference doubleheader on Saturday, April 8. GFU won the first game 3-0, as a three-run homer by Roni Braun in the sixth inning broke a 0-0 tie in a pitcher's duel.

The Bruins led 2-0 after one-half inning in the second game, but Willamette rallied to tie the score in the second inning and move in front 3-2 in the third. Two more runs in the fifth and five in the sixth sent the Bearcats on their way to the run-rule win.

Willamette is 12-14 on the season, 10-10 in the NWC. George Fox ended the day at 17-13 overall, 13-11 in the NWC. The Bruins are fourth in the NWC standings, with the Bearcats close behind in ffith. Both teams are within striking distance of Pacific Lutheran University (12-10), which holds third place. The top four teams in final regular season standings will qualify for the NWC Tournament.

Jade Smith (Sr., P, Chico, CA/Chico HS), who went 5 2/3 innings and took the loss as the starter in the first game for Willamette, pitched 5 1/3 strong innings in relief during the second game. She went to the circle after Annie Veatch blasted a two-run homer with one out in the first inning.

In game two, Smith allowed no runs and just four hits. She registered two strikeouts, giving her five strikeouts on the day.

The Bearcats and the Bruins will play another doubleheader on Sunday, April 9 at the WU Softball Field. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m. (PDT).

Sorensen Throws One Hitter for GFU in Game 1

George Fox pitcher Madison Sorensen threw a complete-game, one-hit shutout in the opener. She gave up a single to left center by catcher Alex Shields (Sr., Lake Forest, CA/El Toro HS) as the second Willamette batter in the game, and then did not allow another hit by the Bearcats. Sorensen struck out five batters and improved to 10-6 on the season.

All three runs for the Bruins in the 3-0 win were scored on Braun's homer in the top of the sixth. Allison Meyer singled to start the inning. Veatch walked, and then Brooke Yasuda pinch-ran for Veatch. Aaliyah Krautz flied out to left field. The runners advanced to second and third on a ground out by Alex Parker. Braun blasted the ball over the fence in center field.

Willamette's best chance to score was in the third inning, when Steffany Dunn (Sr., RF, Colfax, CA/Colfax HS) walked and stole second. Dunn went to third on a sacrifice bunt by Payton Reynolds (Fr., UT, Reno, NV/Reno HS). A ground out to third and a ground out to shorstop ended the inning.

The Bruins registered eight hits in the win. Braun was 2 for 4, while Alyssa Gonzalez was 2 for 2 and Meyer was 2 for 3. Kautz went 1 of 4 with a double.

Bearcats Rally from Early Deficit for 10-2 Win in Game 2

Willamette trailed 2-0 with just one out in the first inning of the second game, but rallied for a solid win. Smith's relief pitching kept George Fox from scoring over the final 5 1/3 innings, while Taiana Creekmur (Fr., C, Honolulu, HI/St. Francis HS) and Jocelyn Glasgo (Fr., P/OF, Rochester, WA/Tumwater HS) each drove in three runs for the Bearcats.

In the top of the first, Julia Apodaca batted first and flied out to center field. Meyer batted next and doubled to left field. Veatch smacked a two-run homer to left field.

The Bearcats tied the score in the bottom of the second. Creekmur walked and Darian Gibson (So., LF, Newport Beach, CA/Calvary HS) singled toward shortstop. An errant throw by the shortstop allowed Creekmur to score and sent Gibson to second. Dunn used a sacrifice bunt to advance Gibson to third.

Payton Reynolds (Fr., UT, Reno, NV/Reno HS) struck out on a wild pitch, but reached first base when the catcher chose not to rick Gibson scoring from third. Olivia Scott (Fr., C, San Francisco, CA/Lowell HS) pinch-ran for Reynolds. After Scott stole second base, Morgan Penn (Fr., P/1B, Beaverton, OR/Southridge HS) drove in Gibson with a ground out to third.

In the third inning, Miki Takara (Fr., 2B, Pearl City, HI/Maryknoll HS) of WU walked on a full-count pitch and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Shields. A fly out by Mallory Asaro (Sr., SS, Rocklin, CA/Rocklin HS) sent Takara to third. Creekmur followed with an RBI single near the right field line on the 12th pitch of her at bat. Takara's run gave WU a 3-2 lead.

Creekmur and Glasgo each recorded an RBI in the fifth inning, as Willamette extended its margin to 5-2. The Bearcats ended the game on the run rule with five additional scores in the sixth inning.

Three hits, two walks and two hit batters produced the five-run inning. All of the runs were scored with two outs. Creekmur was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring in the first run. Glasgo sent a two-run single to left center. Dun added an RBI single up the middle. Reynold drove in the final run with a single up the middle.

Glasgo went 2 for 2 with a run and three RBIs. Creekmur was 1 for 2 with a walk, two runs and three RBIs. Veatch went 2 of 3 for George Fox with a home run and two RBIs. Yasuda also went 2 of 3 for the Bruins.