Mar 16, 2019

Bruins Sweep Saturday In Arizona

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

TUCSON --- The George Fox softball team grabbed two wins on its second day of competition at the Tucson Invitational on Saturday, as the Bruins beat Central (IA), 4-1, and Wisconsin-Platteville, 13-3, in a five-inning mercy-rule game.

Game One vs. Central (IA):

It was a slow start for both sides, as Bruins' Ashley Davis and Central's Mariah Fritz found their groove early on in the circle.

Central was the first team to record a hit in the top of the second with a double, but Davis was quick to answer with a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning.

In the top of the third, Central's Sadie Baugher led-off with a walk and then stole second on the next at-bat. A single by Sara Tallman moved Baugher to third and Lauren Bagby executed a squeeze bunt to score the first run of the game.

Trailing 1-0 and still searching for their first hit of the game, the Bruins came alive in the bottom of the fifth. Savannah Vargas recorded the Bruins' first hit of the game with a single to left field. Haley Chaboya laid down a sac-bunt to move Vargas to third and the Bruins suddenly had life. Kimi Ito came up big with a two-out double to center field to score the Bruins' first run of the game. With the score tied at 1-1, the Dutch decided to intentionally walk Alyssa Gonzalez to have a force out at each bag. That didn't matter to Roni Braun, though, as the right fielder hit a double to left center to clear the bases.

The Bruins ended the inning with a 3-1 lead.

George Fox grabbed one more insurance run in the bottom of the sixth after Allisa Yabumoto hit a single up the middle to score Aaliyah Kautz.

The Bruins beat the Dutch, 4-1.

Game Two vs. Wisconsin-Platteville:

The second game was quite different from the first, as the Bruins caught fire in the first four innings.

In the top of the first, Ito, Gonzalez, and Braun all hit singles to load the bases. Claire Fountain worked herself a nice at-bat that resulted in a walk to bring home the first run of the game. Kautz then hit a single to center field during the next at-bat, bringing home Gonzalez. The Pioneers kept the damage to a minimum with two straight strikeouts to end the inning.

The second inning wasn't too kind for the Pioneers, as the Bruins exploded for six runs on four hits to take an 8-0 lead. Braun kicked things off with a bang, drilling a ball well over center field for a three-run home run. Vargas followed suit four at-bats later, hitting a three-run homer of her own to widen the gap.

The Bruins kept the pressure on the Pioneers with another big inning in the third. Ito started the inning with a single and advanced to third on an error. She then scored on a passed ball to put the Bruins up 9-0. Gonzalez drew a walk, which forced the Pioneers to make a pitching change. Braun hit a single to center field and Fountain hit the Bruins' third home run of the game to clear the bases and give the Bruins a 12-0 advantage.

The Pioneers were able to scratch one across home plate in the bottom half of the third with a sac-fly to center field.

George Fox's final run came in the fourth inning, as Gonzalez brought home Ito on a double to center field.

The Pioneers scored two more runs in the bottom of the fourth, but Caitlyn Rhoades shut the door in the bottom of the fifth to give the Bruins a 13-3 victory.

Top Performers:

Game One:

The pitching staff led this one as Ashley Davis and Winter Ridgeway teamed up to hold the Dutch to one run. Ridgeway earned the win with 3.1 innings pitched. Roni Braun went 1-2 at the plate with a team-high two RBIs.

Game Two:

The Bruins were led by Ito, Gonzalez, Braun, and Kautz as they each recorded three hits apiece. Caitlyn Rhoades grabs her first collegiate win of her career, going the final three innings and allowing no earned runs.

What It Means:

The Bruins improve to 8-6 on the season and are 4-1 at the Tucson Invitational.

What Comes Next:

The Bruins will finish their last day in Arizona with a doubleheader against Wis.-La Crosse and Augsburg on Sunday, March 17. The first game is set for 9 am.