Mar 14, 2019

Bruins Take 2-of-3 On Day One In Tucson

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: Jake Bienvenue

TUCSON --- The George Fox softball team traveled to Arizona for the first three games of the Tucson Invitational on Thursday. They dropped a close game one to Case Western Reserve, 7-5, then finished the day with wins against St. Scholastica and Mount Mary, 7-1 and 19-5, respectively.


Game One vs. Case Western Reserve:

The Bruins struck first against Case Western Reserve, scratching across a pair of runs in the top of the third. With a runner on first, Savannah Vargas stepped to the plate and homered out of left field to give George Fox a 2-0 advantage.

They kept it going with another run in the top of the fourth. Alyssa Gonzalez started it off with a double to center field, and then Allisa Yabumoto batted her in with a double, setting the score at 3-0.

Case Western Reserve rallied back in the bottom of the fifth, exploding into the lead with five runs. They managed to score in the bottom of the sixth as well, scratching across a pair of runs to go up 7-3.

The Bruins had the chance to come back in the top of the seventh. Yabumoto reached first on an error by the shortstop, then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Tanner Higgins batted her in with a double to right field. With runners on first and third, Allison Meyer grounded out to allow Higgins to reach home.

The pair of runs was ultimately not enough as the Bruins dropped a close one, 7-5.

Game Two vs. St. Scholastica:

The Bruins came out with a chip on their shoulder against St. Scholastica, scratching across a pair of runs in the bottom of the first to kick things off. Gonzalez doubled down the left field line, then Roni Braun singled and advanced to second on the throw. Meyer stepped up and hit a single to send Gonzalez in, then Claire Fountain did the same to advance Braun.

They kept it up in the bottom of the third, scoring three to set the score at 5-0. Gonzalez stayed hot, tripling to right field to put the Bruins in position to score. A single from Braun sent her home and a triple from Fountain allowed Braun to score. Aaliyah Kautz bunted to bring Fountain in, capping off a strong inning.

The Bruins scored in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings to make it 7-0, as Kimi Ito and Makenna Martin reached home.

St. Scholastica scored in the top of the sixth to make it 7-1, but it was ultimately unable to close the gap as the Bruins bounced back with a commanding victory.

Game Three vs. Mount Mary:

Mount Mary was unprepared for the Bruins' explosion in the bottom of the first inning. It started with a double from Ito, then a triple from Gonzalez sent her home. George Fox essentially kept the bases loaded from that point on, managing to score run-after-run. Fountain walked, Kautz singled, then Yabumoto singled—all leading to runs. Vargas had an RBI double. At one point, the Bruins had five runs in five straight at-bats. They finished the inning with a mind-boggling 15 runs, jumping out to a massive early lead.

There was no stopping George Fox, as it narrowly missed matching their season-high for runs in a single inning. Not only that, but they rattled off 15 runs with only a single out.

The Bruins kept it up from there, scratching across an additional three runs in the bottom of the second to go up 18-0.

Mount Mary responded with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth, but the Bruins came back with a run in the bottom of the fourth to set the score at 19-2.

Three runs from Mount Mary in the top of the fifth was not enough to overcome the enormous deficit as the mercy rule went into play and the Bruins won, 19-5.

Top Performers:

Game One:

Vargas' two-RBI home run led the way for the Bruins. Meyer, Yabumoto, and Higgins each batted in a runner in the effort as well. Freshman pitcher Ashley Davis threw four strikeouts in the contest.

Game Two:

Braun played well in game two, going 3-4 at the plate for two RBI and two runs. Fountain was a key contributor as well, going 2-3 at the plate for two RBI. Gonzalez was dialed in also, reaching home plate twice. Winter Ridgeway was an ace on the mound, earning the win while allowing only three hits. She also threw a whopping 10 strikeouts in only six innings.

Game Three:

A host of Bruins contributed in game three, but Kautz led the way with three RBI and two runs on a perfect 2-2 from the plate. Gonzalez, Fountain, Yabumoto, Katie Ladd and Higgins all batted in two runners. The Bruins collectively went an astounding 19-32 at the plate.

What It Means:

The Bruins move to .500 on the season at 6-6 and remain 4-3 in conference play.

What Comes Next:

The Bruins continue their stretch of games in Tucson on Saturday, March 16th with matchups against Central (IA) and Edgewood at 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm.