Watilo Throws Two-Hitter, as Bearcats Defeat #1 Linfield, 2-0, to Start Doubleheader

Wildcats Win Second Game, 8-0

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

McMINNVILLE, ORE. -- Willamette University pitcher Alex Watilo (Sr., RHP, Newcastle, CA/Del Oro HS) pitched a complete-game 2-hitter against #1-ranked Linfield College to lead the Bearcats to a 2-0 victory over the Wildcats in the first game of the doubleheader. Watilo upped her record to 13-4 on the season. The Bearcats outhit Linfield, 8-2, during the game. WU scored both runs in the top of the sixth inning.

In the second game, Linfield earned six hits, walked nine times and benefited from two errors by the Bearcats to win 8-0 on the run rule in five innings. Linfield pitcher Karina Paavola threw the first four innings to improve to 17-1 with the win. Shelby VandeBergh threw the final inning. The two Linfield pitchers allowed a total of three hits.

Willamette moved to 20-11 on the season, 19-7 in the Northwest Conference. Linfield, ranked #1 in NCAA Division III, ended the day at 33-3, 23-3 in the NWC.

Watilo limited the opportunities for Linfield to score in the opener, as she faced only five base runners. Two reached base on singles and three received walks. Overall, the Wildcats were 2 for 23 at the plate.

Even so, the home team left two runners on base in the second inning and the seventh inning. In the second stanza, Ashley Garcia walked and gave way to pinch-runner Kate Hasty. Haylie Watson walked to put runners at first and second. The second out of the inning was recorded on one of Watilo's three strikeouts during the game. Grace Middlestadt hit into the third out on a bunt fielded by Watilo.

In the seventh, Staci Doucett flied out ot left field for the first out, but Karleigh Prestianni singled through the left side. Prestianni advanced to second on a groundout by Garcia. Watson walked for the second time to keep the inning alive. Megan Wallo ran for Watson, but Jordan Mixsell lined out to center field to end the game.

Willamette plated both of its runs in the sixth inning, but had a good chance to take an early lead in the first stanza.

Suzannah Von Trapp (Sr., DP/3B, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) singled up the middle with one out in the first inning. She was thrown out at second base on a stolen base attempt. Heather Winslow (Fr., 1B, Oregon City, OR/Oregon City HS) pounded a double to left center, but remained on base when Theresa Martin (Fr., 3B, Modesto, CA/Johansen HS) flied out to center field for the third out.

The Bearcats achieved three of their eight hits in the sixth inning to help break the 0-0 deadlock.

Von Trapp opened the stanza with a single to center field. Winslow grounded out to starting pitcher Lauren Harvey, while Von Trapp went to second on the play. Martin sent a double up the middle to score Von Trapp for a 1-0 lead. One out later, Mica Romero (Sr., SS, Woodland, CA/Woodland Christian School) brought Martin across the plate with WU's second double of the inning.

Following Romero's double, Paavola went to the circle for the Wildcats. She got out of the inning when she forced the next batter, Susie Krewer (Sr., 2B, Sacramento, CA/Mira Loma HS), to fly out to left field.

Martin was 2 for 3 with a run and an RBI in the first game for Willamette. Von Trapp went 2 for 4 and scored one run. The top four spots in the batting order earned six hits for the Bearcats during the game.

Willamette gained three base runners in the first inning of the second game, but failed to score.

Jessica Barry (Jr., LF, Cupertino, CA/Monte Vista HS/UNLV) walked to open the frame. One out later, Barry stole second base. Winslow followed with a walk and Martin was hit by a pitch. The threat ended when Kelli Snyder (Jr., c, Longview, WA/Kelso HS) flied out to left field and Barry was called out on the play for leaving third base early.

After surviving the scare in the top of the inning, the Wildcats answered with three runs in the bottom of the stanza. Two hits, five walks, three steals and a wild pitch did the damage. Jaydee Baxter hit a leadoff single and Katy Brosig walked. Both runners stole a base before Baxter scored on a wild pitch. Brosig later scored on a single by Prestianni. Later in the inning, Prestianni scored on a bases-loaded walk.

The Wildcats extended the lead with a five-run third inning. Garcia, who opened the inning with a bunt single was still at first two outs later. Wallo reached first base on an error to continue the inning. A walk loaded the bases and a passed ball brought home the first run. Two more runs scored on a double by Emilee Lepp. The final two runs scored on single by Doucette.

Paavola struck out five batters, gave up two hits and allowed two walks. VandeBergh added one strikeout and allowed one hit. All of Willamette's hits were singles. The double by Lepp from Linfield was the only extra-base hit of the game.

Garcia went 2 for 2 with a walk and a run for Linfield in Game 2. Four other Wildcats earned one hit apiece. Willamette's three hits were by Barry, Von Trapp and Nichole Robertson (Sr., RF, Elk Grove, CA/Franklin HS/Cosumnes River Coll.).

The teams will conclude the four-game series with a doubleheader at Willamette on Sunday, April 15. First pitch at the WU Softball Field is set for 12 p.m. (PDT).

BOX SCORES

Willamette University 2
Linfield College 0
Statistics

Linfield College 8
Willamette University 0
Run Rule, 5 innings
Statistics
Alex Watilo threw a 2-hitter against top-ranked Linfield to lead the Bearcats to a 2-0 victory.

Alex Watilo threw a 2-hitter against top-ranked Linfield to lead the Bearcats to a 2-0 victory.