- 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
A Winning Tradition
|Willamette (7-30, 6-20)||2||0||0||0||0||2||1||0|
|George Fox (23-13, 15-10)||1||0||4||8||X||13||8||2|
|Willamette (7-29, 6-19)||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||3||3||2|
|George Fox (22-13, 14-10)||2||0||1||3||0||0||X||6||7||0|
By: Jake Bienvenue
NEWBERG --- The George Fox softball team hosted Willamette in the first two games of their last conference series on Friday afternoon, sweeping the Bearcats on day one with a 6-3 win in game one and a 13-2 win in game two. The two wins capped the careers of three Bruin seniors at Morse Athletic Field as George Fox paused between games to honor Alyssa Gonzalez, Kimi Ito, and Winter Ridgeway.
The Bearcats struck first, scratching across a pair of runs in the top of the first.
The Bruins responded immediately, putting up two runs of their own in the bottom of the first to tie the game. Kimi Ito reached home on a wild pitch for the home team's first run, then Roni Braun scored on an error by third base to cap off the inning.
Claire Fountain homered in the first at-bat of the bottom of the third to give the Bruins the lead, 3-2.
George Fox kept it up in the bottom of the fourth. They stacked the bases, then Aaliyah Kautz hit a two RBI single to center field to advance Tanner Higgins and Alyssa Gonzalez. Allison Meyer batted in Fountain with a single, making it three runs for the inning.
Down 6-2, the Bearcats had a chance to tie or go ahead in the top of the seventh. They scratched across a run but were unable to close the gap as the Bruins took game one, 6-3.
Again, the Bearcats jumped to an early lead with two runs in the top of the first.
And again, Ito was the first to respond for the Bruins, this time with a home run to cut the lead to 2-1.
It was all George Fox from that point on. The Bruins struck next in the bottom of the third in dramatic fashion. The home team loaded up the bases, and then Kautz stepped up and smashed a grand slam out of right field, leapfrogging the Bruins ahead of the Bearcats, 5-2.
The George Fox offense exploded in the bottom of the fourth, scratching across an eye-opening eight runs to all but put the game out of reach. Higgins hit the Bruins' third homer of the game, sending the ball out of center field for two RBI. With the bases loaded, Fountain walked to allow Ito to reach home. Then a huge double from Meyer was good for three RBIs. And in case that was not enough, Allisa Yabumoto hit the Bruins' fourth home run of the game, also for two RBI.
The Bearcats had no response for the offensive surge of the Bruins as they fell in game two, 13-2.
Kautz batted in a pair of runners to pace the home team. Fountain played well also, hitting a homer and reaching home plate twice. Winter Ridgeway got the win in the circle, allowing just three hits in seven innings.
Kautz's beautiful grand slam led the Bruins in game two. Meyer's three RBI double was a huge lift as well, and both Yabumoto and Higgins hit two RBI homers in the Bruins' rout of the Bearcats. Sarah Sorton was the ace for the home team in game two, allowing just one hit in four innings. She earned the win on the mound, also throwing five strikeouts. Caitlyn Rhoades pitched for George Fox in the top of the fifth, striking out three consecutive batters to end the game.
What It Means:
The Bruins move to 23-13 overall and 15-10 in conference play with two games remaining against NWC opponents. The Bruins can clinch a spot in the 2019 NWC Tournament with at least one win against Willamette in their final doubleheader.
What Comes Next:
The Bruins travel to face Willamette in games three and four of their conference series on Saturday, April 20th at 12:00pm and 2:30pm.