Mar 08, 2015

Sweeping the Day Away

A Winning Tradition

 
  • Two NCAA Regional Tournament Appearances (2016, 2018)
  • Five Northwest Conference Tournament Appearances (2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
  • Six NFCA All-West Region Athletes (One first-team, three second-team, two third-team) 
  • 4 Northwest Conference Coaches of the Year
  • 1 (NFCA) Division III National Pitcher of the Week (Abbie Bergerson, 2015)
  • Two National Top-25 Rankings (2016, 2018)
  • One NAIA Regional Tournament (1994)
  • One NAIA District Championship (1994)
  • One Cascade Conference Championship (1994)
  • 1 NAIA District Coach of the Year
 

By: Ryan Lackey

NEWBERG, Ore. --- George Fox University's softball team got back into a groove Sunday afternoon, as the Bruins swept the Bearcats of Willamette in a Northwest Conference double-header match-up.

Game 1

The first game of Saturday's doubleheader saw the Bruins stymie Willamette's sixth-inning comeback with a rally of their own, taking the game 7-5 and earning reliever Madison Sorensen her fourth win of the young season.

At the top of the Bruins' lineup, leadoff hitter Rebecca Pridmore catalyzed the Bruins offensively, going 3-4 with a pair of RBIs and runs. Catcher Courtney Howard managed three RBIs on her 1-3 day, and Kat Hylton had two RBIs and two runs as part of her 1-2 performance.

The Bruins broke the goose eggs first, pushing across two runs in the second. With one out, Annie Veatch slapped a single, and Hylton followed with her only hit of the day: a long home run to open the scoring at 2-0.

Both teams exchanged zeroes until the fifth, when Willamette's Myranda Ramirez capitalized on a rare mistake from starter Abbie Bergerson, swatting her own round-tripper to halve the Bruins' lead to 2-1.

The Bruins' response was swift. In their half of the fifth, Pridmore reached first on a booted ball by Heather Winslow. Howard promptly smashed a ball over the fence to extend the lead to 4-1.

The wheels nearly came off for the Bruins in the sixth, though. After Bergerson got Winslow to fly out, Ashley Pender walked, Danielle Saunders singled, and pinch-hitter Amanda Absher worked her own walk to load the bases. Sorensen replaced Bergerson on the rubber and fanned Alex Shields for the second out, but one of Sorensen's inherited runs scored when pinch-hitter Erin Norris lobbed a deep triple into the gap. Norris then scored on a passed ball to give Willamette a 5-4 lead.

Undaunted, the Bruins surged back in the bottom of the sixth. Kat Hylton waited out a walk and went to second on Julia Apodaca' sacrifice. Continuing with the small ball, Ashley Bunce's seeing-eye single found grass to put runners on the corners for the in-form Pridmore. Needing just a sacrifice fly, Pridmore did one better, smashing a triple to plate Bunce and Hylton and retake the lead for the Bruins, 6-5. Howard, batting next, did her job, bringing in Pridmore with an RBI groundout.

Sorensen put Willamette down in the top of the seventh, and the 7-5 score held.

The win elevates the Bruins to 10-3 on the year and 6-1 in the Northwest Conference, while Willamette falls to 1-12, 1-6.

Game 2

After a tense, back-and-forth victory in game one, the Bruins left nothing to chance in the nightcap of Sunday's doubleheader with Willamette, taking the game, 9-1.

Ashley Bunce was the Bruins' offensive star, finishing the day a perfect 3-3 with four RBIs, while clubbing her second home run of the season.

Bruin starter Madison Sorensen managed the incredibly rare feat of winning both ends of a doubleheader. After coming on in relief in the first game and recording the win, she threw six one-run innings to notch her second win of the day.

The Bruins got on the scoreboard in the second, when Annie Veatch singled in Amanda Woods, and Bunce snagged her first two RBIs of the day, roping a double into the gap to bring in two more. Designated hitter Alex Parker added another for George Fox in the third lining a clean single to left-center to plate Kayla Anderson with the Bruins' fourth run.

The lead grew to 6-1 in the fourth. Bunce led things off by smoking a double into the gap, and she scored on Rebecca Pridmore's single. The speedy Pridmore went to second on an error, stole third, and came in to score on another error.

Still unsatisfied, the Bruins scored two more in the fifth. After Kat Hylton singled, the white-hot Bunce picked out a ripe fastball and cracked it over the outfield fence; her homer made the score 8-1

In the sixth and last inning, pinch-hitter Becca Olson slapped a single to right to score Anderson and make the final score, 9-1.

Besides the outstanding Bunce, Parker was in form, recording two hits, and RBI, and a run scored. Kayla Anderson scored twice in her 1-3 day, and Amanda Woods also went 1-3.

By sweeping the doubleheader, the Bruins improve to 11-3 and 7-1 in conference. They will try to capitalize on their momentum next Saturday, when they travel to Lewis & Clark.