By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
CALDWELL, Idaho -- Menlo College (Calif.) scored 10 unearned runs resulting from six Willamette errors, as the Oaks defeated the Bearcats, 17-6, on Sunday, Feb. 24 at Symms Field on the College of Idaho campus. The Oaks scored seven runs -- four earned -- in the first inning, and owned a 10-5 lead at the start of the seventh inning. In the seventh, Menlo tallied seven runs -- three earned. Willamette scored the game's last run in the bottom of the seventh.
The Oaks, who compete in the NAIA, improved their record to 4-9. Willamette, which competes in NCAA Division III fell to 0-5 on the season.
In the top of the first, Menlo put together four conscutive hits to open the game. Ariana Belarde tripled down the line and then scored on a single by Lauren Harrison. Keeley Hernadez followed with an RBI double. Mia Thompson sent a single through the left side to score Hernandez. Thompson went to second when the ball was misplayed in left field. Three additional hits and one more error led to four more runs, as the Oaks built a 7-0 lead.
Willamette did a tremendous job of battling back in the bottom of the first by plating four runs on four hits. Breianna Mcleod (So., OF, Kailua Kona, HI/West Hawaii Explorations Acad.) singled to start the at bat, and then went to second on a ground out. Jocelyn Glasgo (Jr., P, Rochester, WA/Tumwater HS) was hit by a pitch, and then Vanessa Almaraz (Jr., OF, Simi Valley, CA/Simi Valley HS) smacked a two-run double down the right field line. Later in the inning, Cassie Cossler (Fr., 1B, Albany, OR/West Albany HS) brought in a run with a sacrifice fly and Kelsey Wong (Fr., UT, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School) hit an RBI single to pull within 7-4.
Neither team scored in the second inning, but the Oaks plated a pair of runs in the third. WU cut the margin to 9-5 when Mcleod singled in the fourth and eventually crossed the plate on a line-drive sacrifice fly to center by Almaraz. Menlo tacked on a run in the sixth inning, before scoring seven runs in the top of the seventh to pull away. In the bottom of the seventh for Willamette, Meghan Hook (Fr., C, Sunnyvale, CA/Homestead HS) walked and went on to score.
Willamette accumulated 11 hits during the game, but left 10 runners on base. Wong was 2 for 3 with an RBI. Mcleod went 2 for 5 with two run scored. The Bearcats finished with two extra base hits on doubled by Almaraz and Glasgo. Almaraz led the team with three RBIs.
The Oaks recorded 13 hits. Hernandez was 2 of 4 with two doubles, two runs and three RBIs, while Belarde went 2 of 4 with a double, a triple and two RBIs. Taylor Railey was 2 for 3 with three runs and an RBI. Menlo relief pitcher Maddie Plazola, who tossed the final five innings, was credited with the win
Up next for Willamette is the start of Northwest Conference action with four games at Pacific University next weekend. On Saturday, March 2, the teams will start the series with two games. They will conclude the series with two games on Sunday, March 3. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m. (PST) each day.
Big Moment of the Game for Willamette
Vanessa Almaraz smacked a two-run double in the bottom of
the first inning to drive in Willamette's first runs of the game. The
Bearcats scored four runs during the inning. In the fourth inning,
Almaraz earned her third RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly.