Mar 15, 2015

Meeting Halfway

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

PORTLAND, Ore. --- George Fox University's softball team continued its four game series with Lewis & Clark on Sunday, as the Bruins split the double-header with the Pioneers.

Game 1

Kayla Anderson's three hits – including her fifth home run of the season – led the Bruins over Lewis & Clark in game one of a doubleheader on Saturday, 6-4. Both teams managed 10 hits and saw excellent scoring chances, but the Bruins were better in the clutch, and Madison Sorensen turned in two perfect innings of relief to close out the win.

Anderson wasted no time catalyzing the Bruin's offense, jumping all over a high delivery from Pioneers pitcher Madison Hollenbeck and driving it over the left field fence to give the Bruins an early 2-0 lead. Hollenbeck, in the Pioneers' half of the first, helped her own cause, lining a clean RBI single to center to cut the lead to 2-1. The next inning, Tiana Rosario caught hold of a delivery from Abbie Bergerson, and her round-tripper tied the game, 2-2.

With one out in the fourth, Kat Hylton lined a single into center to bring around pinch-runner Kady Huber-Kantola. Alex Parker then pinch-hit for Julia Apodaca and made an immediate impact, getting her hands inside a tight fastball and launching it well over the left-center fence to stretch the lead to 5-2.

Lewis & Clark scratched out another in the fourth on an RBI groundout, but Veatch's single into left brought in Anderson to make the score 6-4. Sorensen relieved Bergerson and stymied the Pioneers over the last two innings to earn her second save on the season and preserve the Bruins' victory.

Besides homers from Anderson and Alex Parker, the Bruins got offense from catcher Courtney Howard, who went 2-4, and Veatch, who finished 2-3. Bergerson took home the win, which improves her record to a stellar 7-1.

The Bruins stand at 14-3 on the season and 10-1 in conference.

Game 2

After an excellent performance in the opener, the Bruins fell to a rapacious comeback by Lewis & Clark in the second game, dropping the game 8-7 in eight innings. Abbie Bergerson, who started game one, threw three and two-thirds innings of dogged relief, but took the loss to drop her record to 7-2.

Offensively, the Bruins enjoyed solid games from Alex Parker – who had a pinch-hit homer in game one – and Amanda Woods, who both went 2-4. Courtney Howard went 1-3 and chipped in three RBIs.

Early on, the game looked like another comfortable victory for the Bruins. With the score tied 2-2 entering the fourth, George Fox broke out with five runs. Woods sparked the rally with a lined single, and Annie Veatch walked to put two runners on for Parker, whose ringing single to center scored Woods. Kat Hylton lofted a single to load the bases, and Ashley Bunce worked a walk in an excellent at-bat to force in Veatch and make the score 4-2. The bases still full, Howard accomplished the rare three-RBI single, slicing a ball into right that gave time for all three runners to score.

Trailing 7-2, Lewis & Clark scratched back slowly. Tiana Rosario, who homered in game one, hit another solo shot in the fifth, and the Pioneers pushed across two more in the sixth, helped by an error from Woods at first.

Still trailing by two going into the seventh – and last – inning, the Pioneers put together a gritty rally against reliever Bergerson. With one out and a runner on first, Hannah Del Pra singled and Ateisha Norton reached on an error by Veatch to load the bases. With Lindsey Yearman batting, Bergerson made a good pitch, but Yearman clubbed it into left-center, tying the game, 7-7.

The Bruins managed a runner in the eighth but no runs, which proved costly. Bergerson got two quick outs against the Pioneers, but a walk and a double by Hollenbeck set up Del Pra's walk-off single that snuck through the infield and gave the Pioneers an 8-7 victory.

With the tough loss, the Bruins see their record fall to a still impressive 14-4, 10-2 in conference. They will have a chance to get back on the winning track next Sunday, when they fly south to Texas for a two-game set with Trinity.