Shipway Belts Home Run and Double, but Linfield Wins Twice in McMinnville

Maya Shipway (So., 1B, Bothell, WA/The Bear Creek School)
Maya Shipway (So., 1B, Bothell, WA/The Bear Creek School)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

McMINNVILLE, Ore. -- Maya Shipway (So., 1B, Bothell, WA/The Bear Creek School) of Willamette University belted a solo home run in the first game and hit a double in the second game, but Linfield College swept a doubleheader against the Bearcats on Sunday, March 18 at Del Smith Stadium. The Wildcats won 12-4 on the run rule in six innings and 12-1 on the run rule in five innings.

Linfield, which received points but was not ranked in this week's NCAA Division III Poll released by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), advanced its record to 18-6 on the season, 10-2 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette ended the day at 2-11 overall, 2-8 in the NWC.

In the opener, Linfield took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. With one out, Cheyenne Fletcher reached first base on an error. She stole second base and scored with two outs when Emily Allen hit a two-run homer to left field. 

Shipway answered with a solo homer to left field to start the second inning. It was the first home run of her Willamette career and cut Linfield's advantage to 2-1.

The Bearcats plated two runs in the top of the third to claim a 3-2 lead. Breianna Mcleod (Fr., SS/UT, Kailua Kona, HI/West Hawaii Explorations Acad.) was hit by a pitch and Reanna Lancaster (Jr., P, Los Altos, CA/Mountain View HS) walked. Danielle Koontz (Fr., 2B, Cupertino, CA/Monta Vista HS) provided a sacrifice bunt toward third. Mcleod went on to score from third, while Lancaster went to third. Bailey Hillmick (Fr., DP/UT, Athena, OR/Weston-McEween HS) hit an infield single to second to drive in Lancaster with the go-ahead run.

Linfield regained the lead with two runs in the bottom of the third. Both runs crossed the plate on a double to left center by Darian Stedman with two outs. Willamette evened the score at 4-4 in the top of the fourth when Shipway walked, went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Vanessa Almaraz (So., OF, Simi Valley, CA/Simi Valley HS), and later reached third and home on an error by the catcher.

The Wildcats took the lead for the final time in the bottom of the fourth. Chelsea Horita walked with one out, and Kelsey Wilkinson pinch-ran for Horita. Wilkinson stole second base, and then Paige Smotherman blasted a two-run homer to left field. Linfield took a 6-4 lead.

An insurance run in the fifth and five runs in the sixth allowed Linfield to win the game 12-4 on the run rule.

Stedman went 2 of 4 for Linfield with a homer, a double, one run scored and four RBIs. Smotherman was 2 of 3 with a homer, one run and two RBIs. Jessica Woodruff also went 2 for 3. Linfield outhit the Bearcats, 12-4, but Willamette had two extra-base hits on Shipway's home run and a double by Sofia Magnani (So., P/OF, Belmont, CA/Notre Dame HS).

Willamette plated the first run in the second game. Hillmick walked with one out in the first inning and moved to second on a ground out to third by Magnani. Jocelyn Glasgo (So., P/OF, Rochester, WA/Tumwater HS) singled to drive home Hillmick. Glasgo went to second on the throw. Linfield pitcher Eliza Rossman got Shipway to fliy out to end the threat.

The Bearcats remained in front 1-0 until Linfield batted in the bottom of the third. It was a tough inning for the Bearcats, as the Wildcats scored 12 runs on five hits and six errors. Neither team produced runs the rest of the way, as Linfield secured the 12-1 win on the run rule in five innings.

Rossman improved to 11-0 with the win. She allowed four hits and one run, while striking out four batters and giving up three walks in four innings. The Wildcats outhit the Bearcats, 9-4, but the only extra-base hit was a double by Shipway in the fourth. The double occurred after Glasgo singled and before Kea Gier (So., 3B, Kaneohe, HI/Iolani School) walked to load the bases, but Rossman escaped the jam with a pop-up and two strikeouts.

Glasgo was 2 for 3 at the plate for Willamette. She also recorded an RBI.

Willamette will play Pacific University in two Northwest Conference make-up games on Monday, March 19. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. (PDT) at the WU Softball Field. The doubleheader was originally scheduled for Feb. 25, but was rained out.