Bruins, Ranked #9 in NCAA Division III, Defeat Bearcats 10-0 and 11-2 in Newberg

Emily Bishop (Jr., OF, Maple Valley, WA/Tahoma HS/Pierce College)
Emily Bishop (Jr., OF, Maple Valley, WA/Tahoma HS/Pierce College)

By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications

NEWBERG, Ore. -- George Fox University, ranked #9 in NCAA Division III by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), received strong pitching from starters Abbie Bergerson and Madison Sorensen on their way to sweeping a doubleheader from Willamette University on Saturday, April 14 at Morse Athletic Field. The Bruins downed the Bearcats 10-0 on the run rule in six innings in the opener, and defeated Willamette 11-2 on the run rule in five innings in the second game.

GFU advanced its record to 31-7 on the season, including 22-4 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette's record moved to 5-24 overall, 5-17 in the NWC. The teams will conclude the weekend series with a doubleheader at the WU Softball Field in Salem, Oregon, on Sunday, April 15. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. (PST).

For Willamette, Emily Bishop (Jr., OF, Maple Valley, WA/Tahoma HS/Pierce College) went 3 for 3 at the plate with a double and a run scored in the second game. Sofia Magnani (So., P/OF, Belmont, CA/Notre Dame HS) was 2 for 3 in the first game.

Roni Braun of George Fox belted two home runs in the first game and one home run in the second game, giving her 11 homers for the season. Rebecca Pridmore and Annie Veatch each hit one home run in the second game.

GFU's Sorensen and Charron Combine for 5-Hitter in First Game

Sorensen, now 19-1, allowed the Bearcats just three hits during the first five innings of the opener. She struck out seven batters and did not allow a walk. Relief pitcher Melissa Charron pitched the sixth inning for the Bruins and gave up two hits, but escaped the inning without the Bearcats scoring.

George Fox took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Pridmore walked to start the inning and went to second on a wild pitch. Savannah Vargas walked. Pridmore reached third when Veatch hit into a fielder's choice resulting in Vargas being thrown out at second. Pridmore scored on a wild pitch.

Magnani singled for Willamette to open the second inning and went to second on a sacrifice bunt by Maya Shipway (So., 1B, Bothell, WA/The Bear Creek School), but a strikeout and a ground out ended the threat.

The Bruins expanded their advantage to 5-0 with four runs in the bottom of the third. A fielding error and two infield hits brought Allison Meyer across the plate with the first run. Braun drove in the next two runs one out later with a double up the middle. Alyssa Gonzalez added an RBI single. 

GFU completed the run-rule win by scoring twice in the fifth and three times in the sixth. Braun began the fifth with a solo homer, and later blasted a three-run homer in the sixth. Braun was 3 or 4 with three runs, two homers, a double and six RBIs. Pridmore was 2 or 3 with a homer and two runs scored. In addition to Magnani's two hits, Willamette received one hit each from Bailey Hillmick (Fr., DP/UT, Athena, OR/Weston-McEween HS) and Jocelyn Glasgo (So., P/OF, Rochester, WA/Tumwater HS).

Bergerson Allows just Five Hits, but Bishop Goes 3 for 3

In the second game, Bergerson limited Willamette to five hits and struck out three batters while improving to 10-5, but she couldn't put out Bishop, who went 3 for 3. Bishop hit a double and two singles. Her double occurred when she was the leadoff batter in the first inning. She gave Willamette a 1-0 advantage when she later scored on a double-steal with one out. Glasgo was thrown out at second on the play. A ground out ended the inning.

The Bruins plated four runs and hit two homers in the bottom of the first. Pridmore opened the at bat with a solo homer to right field. After Vargas walked, Veatch hit a two-run homer over the fence in right field. Braun and Gonzalez followed with consecutive doubles to bring home the final run of the stanza.

George Fox added to its margin with three runs in the second and three runs in the third for a 10-1 lead. In the second, Baun blasted a three-run homer. In the third, the first two GFU batters were retired, but the Bruins used a single up the middle, an infield single, two walks, two wild pitches and an error to score all three runs with two outs.

Each team scored one run in the fourth. Glasgo was hit by a pitch to open the inning for Willamette. She stole second base and then scored on a single up the middle by Kaitlin Manker (Fr., INF, Vancouver, WAUnion HS). Kimi Ito singled and eventually scored for GFU on an RBI single by Julia Apodaca in the bottom of the inning.