By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
McMINNVILLE, Ore. -- George Fox University continued its successful season by sweeping a doubleheader from Willamette University, 11-0 and 14-5, on Monday, April 16 at Del Smith Stadium on the Linfield College campus. Both games were won on the run rule in six innings. The doubleheader was originally scheduled for Sunday, April 15 at the WU Softball Field, but the games were postponed due to the weather.
The Bruins, who are ranked #9 in NCAA Division III by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA), improved to 33-7 overall, 24-4 in the Northwest Conference. Willamette fell to 5-25 on the season, 5-19 in the NWC.
George Fox has clinched at least a tie for first place in the final NWC standings. Linfield College (22-4) is scheduled to make up a doubleheader at Lewis & Clark College on Tuesday, April 17, and the Wildcats must win both games to share the title with the Bruins. Willamette will make up two games at Whitworth University on Tuesday in Spokane, Washington, starting at 12 p.m. (PDT).
Errors Help Bruins Extend 1-0 Lead after Three Innings in First Game
George Fox scored an earned run in the third inning of the opener for a 1-0 lead. Two errors by Willamette in the fourth inning led to four unearned runs, and two more errors in the fifth inning brought in two unearned runs, as the Bruins expanded the margin to 7-0. GFU closed out the game with four earned runs in the sixth.
With one out in the third stanza, Julia Apodaca hit a short infield singled in front of the plate. Apodaca scored when Allison Meyer followed with a double to right center.
The top of the fourth began with Annie Veatch reaching base on an infield error. Madelynn Vallejo pinch-ran for Veatch and went to third on a single by Roni Braun. After Braun stole second, WU pitcher Jocelyn Glasgo (So., P/OF, Rochester, WA/Tumwater HS) caused a ground out and a fly out. Aaliyah Kautz doubled down the right field line to score Vallejo and Braun. Apodaca reached first on another infield error before Meyer singled and Rebecca Pridmore hit a two-runn double.
GFU took advantage of the first of two errors in the fifth. Braun got on base on a fielding error, and scored two batters later on a sacrifice fly by Alyssa Gonazalez. Kautz added an RBI double. The Bruins used four hits in the sixth inning to plate four runs. Kimi Ito drove in two runs with a single and Kautz added an RBI single. Ito scored on a wild pitch.
Kautz was 3 of 4 with a run and four RBIs for the Bruins. Braun went 2 of 4 and scored three times. Meyer was 2 for 3 with one RBI, while Ito was 1 for 3 with three RBIs.
Pitcher Madison Sorensen of George Fox limited Willamette to just one hit, a two-out single by Breianna Mcleod (Fr., SS/UT, Kailua Kona, HI/West Hawaii Explorations Acad.) in the second inning. The hit advanced Danielle Koontz (Fr., 2B, Cupertino, CA/Monta Vista HS) from first to third. Mcleod was thrown out at second attempting to stretch the hit into a double. Sorenson, now 20-2, stuck out five batters and allowed no walks.
Big Second Inning is the Key as George Fox Wins Second Game
In the second inning of the nightcap, George Fox scored nine runs on eight hits and one error to turn a 1-0 margin into a 10-0 lead. The Bearcats battled to get within 12-5 after four innings, but couldn't complete the comeback. The Bruins added the final two runs of the game in the top the sixth.
Savannah Vargas belted a solo homer with one out in the first inning for GFU. The scoring outburst in the second inning included a two-run homer by Alex Parker, plus four doubles.
Kea Gier (So., 3B, Kaneohe, HI/Iolani School) walked for WU to open the bottom of the second and later scored on a single by Mcleod. The Bearcats tacked on two runs in the third inning, with Gier and Koontz each bringing in a run on a fielder's choice.
In the fourth inning, the Bearcats plated two additional runs. Kaitlyn Wells (Fr., UT, Happy Valley, OR/Clackamas HS) singled down the right field line to start the inning. With one out, Glasgo doubled toward the left field line, sending Wells to third. With two outs, Bailey Hillmick (Fr., DP/UT, Athena, OR/Weston-McEween HS) provided a two-run single to right.
The Bruins received an RBI single from Pridmore and an RBI double from Braun to drive home the final two runs of the game in the sixth inning.
GFU starter Abbie Bergerson improved to 11-5 with the win. She allowed eight hits and five runs -- for earned -- while recording three strikeouts. Braun was 4 for 5 at the plate with two runs and an RBI. Veatch finished 3 of 5, scored twice and produced one RBI. Pridmore and Ito each a run, two hits and two RBIs.
Glasgo was 2 of 4 for Willamette with a double and two runs scored. Six other Bearcats each registered one hit.