Bearcats Split Saturday Games in NFCA Leadoff Classic

Willamette Defeats St. John Fisher 5-3, Falls to Piedmont 5-0

By John Lind and Timothy Walsh

COLUMBUS, GA. -- The Willamette softball team continued play Saturday in the NFCA Leadoff Classic, first earning a 5-3 win over St. John Fisher College N.Y.), then dropping a 5-0 decision in a loss to Piedmont College (Ga.). The 28-team tournament is sponsored by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association.

Willamette ended the day with a 5-11 overall record, 2-2 in the tournament. St. John Fisher concluded the day at 2-6 overall, 0-4 in tournament play. Piedmont improved to 10-1 on the year, 3-1 at the Leadoff Classic.

In the first game, Willamette and St. John Fisher were stuck at a 1-1 tie until the sixth inning. The Bearcats' run came courtesy of some heads-up baserunning by Yvonne Drabin (Sr., OF, Fremont, CA/Moreau Catholic HS), who scored off an errant throw by SJFC catcher Shelby Marie. Drabin had started the inning with a leadoff single.

In the meantime, Victoria Bradshaw (Fr., P, Discovery Bay, CA/Liberty HS) held St. John Fisher to just one run over five innings of work, before giving way to Hayley Glantz (So., P, Reno, NV/Robert McQueen HS) in the sixth.

St. John Fisher put two runs on the board in the top of that inning, only to see the Bearcats put up four runs in the bottom of the frame.

Ashley Pender (Fr., INF, Reno, NV/North Valleys HS) drew a leadoff walk to start things off for Willamette, advancing to second when Kelli Snyder (Sr., Longview WA/Kelso HS) was hit by a pitch. With one out, Amanda Fernandes (So., UTIL, Elk Grove, CA/Franklin HS) walked to load the bases.

Pender was forced out at home on the subsequent play, but with two down in the inning, Drabin reached base on an error by Cardinals first baseman Jazzi Chadwick, advancing to second on the throw. Snyder and Jenna King (So., OF, Camarillo, CA/Adolfo Camarillo HS), pinch-running for Fernandes, scored on the play.

With the game tied, Heather Winslow (So., OF, Oregon City, OR/Oregon City HS) doubled home Drabin and Erin Bueser in the very next at bat, giving the Bearcats a two-run advantage. Glantz then closed out the game in the top of the seventh for her third win of the season.

In the second game, Piedmont scored three runs in the first inning and never looked back, adding two more runs while keeping the Bearcats off the scoreboard. Glantz took the loss for Willamette, who registered six hits in game.

Complete statistics were not immediately available for the second game, though a full box score for game one is located in the right hand column.

The Bearcats will resume play on Sunday, March 10, facing off against Gustavus Adolphus College (Minn.) at 11 a.m. EDT/8 a.m. PDT in a Silver Bracket consolation semifinal.

BOX SCORES

Willamette University 5
St. John Fisher (N.Y.) 3
Statistics 

Willamette University 0
Piedmont (Ga.) 5
Statistics 

Freshman pitcher Victoria Bradshaw allowed one run over five innings in a 5-3 victory of St. John Fisher.

Freshman pitcher Victoria Bradshaw allowed one run over five innings in a 5-3 victory of St. John Fisher.