GEORGE FOX 1-6, WHITWORTH 0-8: Bruins Win Pitchers’ Duel, Drop Slugfest to Pirates
SPOKANE, Wash. – Erin Hento threw a three-hit shutout in the opener as the George Fox University Bruins won 1-0 to stretch their winning streak to eight, but the Whitworth University Pirates bounced back for an 8-6 win in the nightcap as the teams split a critical Northwest Conference softball doubleheader Saturday afternoon here at Marks Field.
With the split, the Bruins are now 19-7 overall and 8-6 in the
conference, while the Pirates are 20-8 overall and 12-4 in the
league. George Fox began the day in fourth place in the NWC
standings and Whitworth was second as the two battle for berths in
the four-team NWC Tournament.
Game 1 - George Fox 1, at Whitworth 0
Hento (9-4) went the distance in the first game, striking out a career-high 10 with one walk and allowing no Whitworth runner as far as second. Her previous high was nine strikeouts in a 6-4 win over Eastern Oregon University on Feb. 19, 2011. She out-dueled Madi Perez (10-4), who surrendered only one hit while fanning one and walking two.
The Bruins got the only run Hento would need, unearned, in the 3rd. Megan Furtado stroked a two-out double down the left-field line, Kayla Anderson walked, and Amanda Woods was safe on an error at short before Courtney Howard drew a base-loaded walk to force in Furtado.
Game 2 - at Whitworth 8, George Fox 6
In the second game, the Bruins fell behind by eight runs before rallying to get within two but could not make it all the way back. Whitworth got three runs in the 1st, the big hit a two-run double by Julia Johnson, added two in the 3rd on a double by Riley Fritz and a single by Kelsey Stroshine, and scored three more in the 4th on a bases-clearing double by Fritz.
Down 8-0 and with one out to go in the 5th before the game would be halted by the ‘mercy rule’, the Bruins exploded for six runs to get back into it. With the bases loaded, Furtado and Anderson each stroked RBI singles before Woods unloaded a grand slam home run to center, her fifth round tripper of the season, that cut the deficit to 8-6. The potential tying run came to the plate for the Bruins later in the 5th and again in the 7th before the Pirates escaped.
Allyssa DenDekker (6-3) suffered the setback for the Bruins, being touched for seven hits and five runs in 2.1 innings before Woods finished up. Fritz (3-0) got the win with four-plus innings of work, followed by two other relievers before Perez came in to get the last two outs in the 7th for her second save.
Anderson and Howard had two hits each out of the Bruins’ total of nine. Johnson was 4-for-4 for the Bucs, while Fritz, who drove in four runs, and Makenize Hope had two hit apiece.
The Bruins and Pirates will complete their four-game series Sunday afternoon with another doubleheader starting at 12:00 noon.