Apr 11, 2010

SB: WILLAMETTE 7-3, GEORGE FOX 6-2 – Bruins Drop Two One-Run Games to Bearcats

A Winning Tradition

  • 1 NCAA Regional Tournament (2016)
  • 1 NAIA Regional Tournament (1994)
  • 1 NAIA District Championship (1994)
  • 1 Cascade Conference Championship (1994)
  • 4 Northwest Conference Tournament (2012, 2015, 2016, 2017)
  • 1 NAIA District Coach of the Year
  • 3 Northwest Conference Coaches of the Year
  • (NFCA) Division III National Pitcher of the Week (Abbie Bergerson, 2015)
  • 2 NFCA All-West Region Second Team 

SALEM, Ore. – Going toe-to-toe with the 16th-ranked softball team in the nation, the George Fox University Bruins held a lead in both games but dropped a pair of one-run heartbreakers, 7-6 and 3-2, to the Willamette University Bearcats in a Northwest Conference doubleheader Sunday afternoon here at the WU softball field.

The Bruins took a 1-0 lead in the top of the 1st inning of the opener on an infield single by Nicole Renteria to start the game, a ground out, and an RBI single by Bethany Chriss.  The Bearcats answered in the home half as Talissa Huntsman smashed a two-run home run, her fourth of the season, to right center and Kelli Snyder added an RBI single. Sierra Lessel and Nichole Robertson each had an RBI hit in the 2nd as the Bearcats upped the lead to 5-1. 

George Fox battled back and had its own big inning in the top of the 3rd when the Bruins plated five runs on three hits and went ahead 6-5. Shelby Briske hit a two-run home run and Becka Doyle a three-run shot during the rally, the fourth for Briske and the third for Doyle.

Willamette scored one run in the 4th to even the score at 6-6 as Susie Krewer hit a double to left, advanced to third on an infield out, and scored on an error at first.  The Bearcats got the winning run in the 6th as Krewer singled to left with two out and Lessel doubled in pinch-runner Carolyn Cava.

Alex Watilo (9-3) picked up the win for Willamette, getting stronger as the game unfolded. She did not allow a hit in the final four innings, finishing with a six-hitter while striking out four and walking three.  Erin Lee (7-8) took the loss for the Bruins, allowing 10 hits with two strikeouts and no walks.

After a high-scoring first game, it was the pitchers who flexed their muscles in the second game as Willamette's Huntsman (5-3) and George Fox's Taylor Whitmore held both teams scoreless through three innings. The bats finally came alive in the 4th, the Bruins scoring first when Renteria hit a single to lead off the inning and later scored off an RBI single by Chriss.  Willamette answered with a run in the home half as Robertson led off with a double, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on Mica Romero’s sacrifice fly to right.

Once again, George Fox responded, adding a run in the 5th to take a 2-1 lead as Doyle reached on an error at third, moved up two bases on Kerrianne Davidson’s double, and scored on Lee’s infield single.  The lead did not last for long, however, as Lee, on in relief of Whitmore, threw a wild pitch with the bases loaded in the bottom of the inning that scored Kiley Herrick.

The Bruins had a huge scoring opportunity in the top of the 7th with runners on first and third and no outs, but Huntsman retired three straight hitters with an infield popup, a strikeout, and a fly out to left.   The Bearcats then plated the winning in the bottom of the inning as Huntsman led off and reached base on an error at first, Krewer sacrificed her to second, and Jessica Barry pushed a single through the left side to score Huntsman.

Lee (7-9) picked up the hard-luck loss in relief for George Fox, pitching the final two innings with only two hits allowed and one run, but that was all Willamette needed to steal the win from the Bruins.  Whitmore went the first 4.1 innings, surrendering two hits and two runs with one strikeout and three walks.  Huntsman threw a complete game and allowed just six hits and two runs, with one walk and six strikeouts.

George Fox (9-20, NWC 3-14) is back in action Wednesday with a doubleheader makeup of games that were rained out against Pacific University on Apr. 3.  The Bruins and Boxers will meet at 4:00 p.m. at Pacific’s Sherman/Larkin Stadium, though the Bruins will be the home team in the twinbill.  Willamette (23-7, NWC 15-3), now in second place in the NWC, travels to league-leading Linfield College for a pair of games on Saturday, starting at 12:00 noon.