Mar 05, 2016

Bruins Split Low-Scoring Doubleheader with Whitworth

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 
 

By: Ryan Lackey

SPOKANE, Wash. --- Though it took all seven innings, the Bruins outlasted Whitworth in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, winning 1-0 in pitching duel of attrition. Abbie Bergerson was masterful, working seven innings and performing a Houdini-like escape in the fourth. But in the second, the Pirates's Makayla Lefever outmatched Madison Sorensen, and the Bruins split the series, taking a 3-1 loss.

Recap:

Game One
Through the first few innings, Whitworth looked the more likely to score. The Pirates put runners on in the first and the third, but in the fourth they nearly put together a two-out rally. After a leadoff single by Hayes, Bergerson got two fast outs before another single and a hit batsman loaded the bases for pinch hitter Kelsey Downey. Bergerson, though, got the better of the matchup, and the Bruins escaped still scoreless.

The Bruins threatened in the fifth, when consecutive singles from Alex Parker and Annie Veatch put two on, but couldn't manage to score.

Finally, in the seventh, the Bruins broke through, and it was Courtney Howard, she of the recent walk-off homer, who began the inning—this time, Howard's fundamentals were key. Howard's sizzle double was followed by two outs, but then Kat Hylton's fly was misplayed, and the Bruins capitalized: running from contact, hustling even with two outs, Howard scored easily.

Bergerson allowed a double in the seventh, but dispatched the Pirates with no other trouble, and the Bruins had a deserving 1-0 win.

Game Two
As in the opener, game two was low-scoring and defensive. Much was quiet until the third, when Whitworth parlayed some small ball into a run. Alyssa Hall was hit by a pitch, stole second, and scored on Chelsey Hayes's single. The Bruins were quiet through the fourth and the fifth, and then found themselves facing a doubled deficit in Whitworth's half of the fifth. Again it was Alyssa Hall: she led off with a single to left, went to second on Hayes's walk, and scampered home on Tessa Matthew's single up the middle.

With the Bruins only getting a hit here and there, Whitworth was free to add to the lead in the sixth; Michelle Silva scored an unearned run on Howard's error.

But Howard, once again, provided the offense in the seventh. Though her efforts weren't quiet enough to take victory, she ruined Lefever's shutout by sending a mistake far, far beyond the left-center fence. Howard's homer was the Bruins's only run in the 3-1 loss.

Top Performers:

Game One
Bergerson earned every bit of her complete-game victory, going seven innings and striking out four. Howard deserves praise both for her double and for accomplishing the little things, running out a fly ball with two outs that allowed her to score the winning run.

Game Two
Sorensen had a very good start—Lefever's was, unfortunately, great. Sorensen went five and gave up two. Howard claimed her fourth homer of the season.

What It Means:
The Bruins are 6-4, an even 3-3 in conference, in fourth place.

What Comes Next:
The Bruins play four, two doubleheaders, at home with Pacific Lutheran next weekend.