By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
FOREST GROVE, Ore. -- Alex Shields (Sr., C, Lake Forest, CA/El Toro HS) smacked a two-run triple with two outs in the top of the seventh inning and Darian Gibson (So., OF, Newport Beach, CA/Calvary HS) added an RBI double, as Willamette University scored three runs to break a 1-1 tie on its way to defeating Pacific University, 4-1, in the second game of a Northwest Conference doubleheader on Friday, April 14.
Pacific won the first game, 3-0, behind a complete-game pitching effort from Ashley Martin.
The Bearcats and the Boxers will play a doubleheader at the WU Softball Field in Salem, Oregon, on Saturday, April 15. It will be Senior Day for the Bearcats, who will honor their six seniors prior to the doubleheader. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. (PDT).
Willamette is 14-18 overall, 12-14 in the Northwest Conference. Pacific moved to 9-27 overall, 7-19 in the NWC. The Bearcats are battling George Fox University (14-12) for the fourth and final NWC Tournament berth.
Martin's Pitching Helps Boxers Win Game 1
The strong pitching of Martin provided the chance for Pacific to win the opening game in a pitcher's duel. Martin's seven innings of work included one strikeout and one walk. She improved to 8-10 on the season, while limiting the Bearcats to just four hits.
Meanwhile, WU starter Jade Smith (Sr., P, Chico, CA/Chico HS) just one run and two hits in the first five innings. Pacific tacked on two runs in the sixth. Smith, who fell to 8-8, struck out two batters, gave up two walks, and allowed only five hits in 5 2/3 innings.
With one out in the top of the first inning, Shields and Gibson hit back-to-back singles. Shields went to third on the single by Gibson, who advanced to second on the throw. Martin caused Mallory Asaro (Sr., SS, Rocklin, CA/Rocklin HS) to ground into a 6-3-2 double play to end the inning.
Trisha Snydar of Pacific belted a double near the left field line with one out in the fourth inning to drive home Haley Kodama with the game's first run. Smith forced a pop-up and registered a strikeout to stop the threat.
The Boxers grounded into a pair of outs to start the bottom of the sixth. Katelyn Macaitis-Smith batted next and earned an infield single toward second base. Snydar also singled, before Macaitis-Smith scored on a double down the left field line by Morgan Bookout.
Jocelyn Glasgo (Fr., P/OF, Rochester, WA/Tumwater HS) went to the circle for WU and got Amanda Machado to hit the ball toward Asaro at shortstop. Asaro tagged Bookhout for the third out, but not until Snydar scored from third.
Gibson was 3 of 3 for Willamette during the game. Snydar finished 2 for 3 with a run and an RBI for Pacific.
Surge in Seventh Inning Gives Bearcats Victory in Game 2
The combined offensive impact of Shields' triple and Gibson's double in the seventh inning made the difference for the Bearcats in the second game. Pitching also played a key role, as starter Reanna Lancaster (So., P, Los Altos, CA/Mountain View HS) and Glasgo combined on a four-hitter.
Willamette put up the first run of the game in the top of the third stanza. Shield walked with one out and then stole second base. She went to third on a wild pitch. With two outs, Asaro reached base on a fielding error by pitcher Cassie Apple. Shields scored on the play.
Kodama blasted a solo home run to left center to open the bottom of the fourth. Glasgo entered the circle and struck out Macaitis-Smith. Snyder singled, but was thrown out at second when Bookout hit into a fielder's choice. Cindy Chan concluded the inning by grounding out.
The teams remained tied throughout the fifth and sixth innings. In the bottom of the fifth, Pacific received consecutive singles from Machado and Keri Togami, but a double play and a ground out allowed Glasgo to escape the threat. In the top of the sixth, Asaro walked to open the inning, and stole second with one out, but was left stranded.
Kea Gier (Fr., 3B, Kaneohe, HI/Iolani School) started the top of the seventh with a double to left field. Alexia Pratt (Sr., OF, Roseville, CA/Woodcreek HS) singled toward third base. Miki Takara (Fr., 2B, Pearl City, HI/Maryknoll HS) advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt. Shields followed with a two-run triple down the right field line. Gibson doubled to left field to send Shields across the plate.
Glasco improved to 3-2 with the win. She allowed three hits and no runs in four innings, while earning one strikeout with no walks. Lancaster gave up only one hit in three innings -- the homer by Kodama -- while recording one strikeout and no walks.
Shields was 2 of 2 on offense for the Bearcats. She scored twice, walked twice and earned two RBIs.