By Giancarlo Santoro, sports writer
Game 1 George Fox
Friday, April 4, 2014
The Pacific Lutheran University softball team had mixed results in its Northwest Conference road trip to Oregon schools George Fox and Pacific this past weekend. While the Lutes did find success against the George Fox Bruins, Pacific proved to be much stiffer competition.
Starting out on the Friday doubleheader, PLU opened the weekend with a narrow 6-5 win against George Fox. The game was a makeup for one that was postponed on Feb. 23 due to rain. The game was played at Linfield’s Del Smith Stadium.
After no score in the first inning, both teams exploded for a combined eight runs in the second. George Fox piled on five runs in the top of the second before PLU responded with three of their own.
When first-year Emily McConnell singled to center field, juniors Tori Himura and Kelsey Robinson touched home to score the Lutes’ first two runs.
First-year Kailyn Osaki then singled to left field, allowing senior Samantha Pryor to score the Lutes’ third run at the bottom of the second.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the sixth when the Lutes tacked on three more runs to win the game.
First-year Thalen Masada scored off senior Spencer Sherwin’s triple to center field. Osaki was able to reach second base on an outfield error and Sherwin was able to steal home.
A Robinson single to center field scored Osaki, which proved to be the game-winning run.
In addition to the game-winning hit, Robinson also took the win at pitcher.
Game 2 George Fox
Friday, April 4, 2014
The Lutes needed only one inning to defeat George Fox 3-0 in the second game, as pitchers Kelsey Robinson and Leah Butters, both juniors, showcased their pitching prowess.
Robinson topped off a strong doubleheader by tossing 12 innings, allowing only eight hits over both games combined.
Robinson struck out four batters to improve PLU’s record to 11-19 overall, 8-10 in NWC. George Fox fell to 19-11 overall, 8-10 in NWC.
It only took a three-run home run from senior Katie Lowery to decide the game. Sherwin and McConnell scored off of Lowery’s hit.
Kelsey Robinson took the win pitching.
Game 3 George Fox
Saturday, April 5, 2014
It was more of the same in game three for PLU against the Bruins. The damage was done in the second and third innings to take another game away from George Fox, winning 2-0.
In the second inning, sophomore Alison Behrends doubled to left field, giving senior Lindsey Matsunaga an open lane to score the Lutes’ first run in the second inning.
Senior Spencer Sherwin scored the second and final run after Lowery singled to center field.
Junior Leah Butters continued her good form by tossing a two-hit complete game and striking out five.
PLU’s record after three games improved to 12-19 overall, 9-10 in NWC. George Fox continued to drop to 19-12 overall, 8-11 in NWC.
Game 1 Pacific
Sunday, April 6, 2014
The Lutes’ four-game win streak was snapped on Sunday against Pacific, who defeated the Lutes 3-1 in Forest Grove, Ore.
Scoreless through three innings, Pacific struck first into right field to go up by one. The Boxers scored again in the fourth inning, making it 2-0.
In the top of the sixth, PLU’s Lindsey Matsunaga, a senior, singled to the right side to give fellow senior, Spencer Sherwin, the chance to get to third. Following an error by Pacific’s right fielder, Sherwin kept going past third to cut the score in half at 2-1.
Pacific scored their third and final run in the bottom of the sixth to make it 3-1.
PLU’s Leah Butters, a junior, took the loss at pitcher, allowing four hits.
Game 2 Pacific
Sunday, April 6, 2014
After nine innings, PLU closed out their Oregon road trip with a heartbreaking 3-2 loss against the Pacific Boxers.
A pitcher’s duel between junior Leah Butters and Pacific’s Sarah Aasness lasted until the fifth inning, when senior Katie Lowery broke the deadlock following a Tori Hamura single up the middle in the sixth inning.
Pacific responded at the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 1-1.
The offense on both sides waited until the ninth inning to decide a winner, and unfortunately for the Lutes, it was Pacific who came out on top.
PLU made it 2-1 in the top of the ninth when Masada scored off an Emily McConnell single, but the lead didn’t last long.
Pacific batted in a run in the bottom of the ninth and won the game off a throwing error by the PLU catcher on a failed pickoff attempt.
PLU’s Kelsey Robinson took the loss after only giving up one hit.
With the second loss of the day, PLU fell to 12-22 overall, 9-13 in NWC while Pacific improved to 18-9 overall, 13-8 in NWC.
The softball team’s next match is Tuesday, Apr. 8 at Willamette to make up for a game that was postponed in the first inning due to weather back in March. ◼︎