Pender Hits .545, Earns NWC Softball Hitter Student-Athlete of the Week Award

Contributes 4 Runs and 5 RBIs as Bearcats go 3-1 to open Conference Play

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University freshman Ashley Pender (2B, Reno, NV/North Valleys HS) has been chosen Northwest Conference Softball Hitter Student-Athlete of the Week for her efforts in the Bearcats' four-game series against George Fox University on Saturday, Feb. 23 and Sunday, Feb. 24. Pender helped the Bearcats go 3-1 against the Bruins as both teams opened NWC play.

Pender hit .545 (6 of 11) during the week, while pounding out three doubles for an .818 slugging percentage. She scored four runs and provided the Bearcats with five RBIs.

In addition, she walked three times, achieved a .600 on-base percentage, had one sacrifice fly and earned one sacrifice bunt. She attained a 1.000 fielding percentage on defense with four putouts and nine assists.

Pender registered at least one hit and one RBI in all four games. In Saturday's series opener, she was 2 for 2 with two runs, a double and an RBI. She went 2 for 3 with a run, two doubles and two RBIs in the second game.

On Sunday, she was 1 for 3 with an RBI in the third game, and concluded the weekend by going 1 for 3 with a run and an RBI in the final game.

Willamette won the first game of the weekend by scoring five runs in the seventh inning for an 8-5 victory. The Bearcats swept the doubleheader with a 12-3 win on the run rule in five innings.

In the third game of the series, George Fox claimed a 4-1 win, as the Bruins' center fielder prevented a game-tying home run with a catch at the fence in the seventh inning. Willamette took the final game of the series, 9-8.

The Bearcats will host Lewis & Clark College in a Northwest Conference doubleheader on Saturday, March 2. First pitch is scheduled for 12 p.m. (PST). WU will travel to Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore., for another NWC doubleheader on Sunday, March 3. The first game at Pacific is slated to begin at 12 p.m.

Ashley Pender hit .545 last week to lead the Bearcats to a 3-1 record in their 4-game series against George Fox.

Ashley Pender hit .545 last week to lead the Bearcats to a 3-1 record in their 4-game series against George Fox.