Fernandes Hits Walk-off 3-Run Homer to Start Doubleheader Sweep of George Fox

Bearcats Defeat Bruins 8-5 and 12-3

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University rallied from a 5-3 deficit with five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, including a walk-off 3-run homer by Amanda Fernandes (So., 2B, Elk Grove, CA/Franklin HS), as the Bearcats began a doubleheader by defeating George Fox University, 8-5, on Saturday, Feb. 23 at the WU Softball Field. In game #2, WU achieved a 12-3 win on the run rule in five innings.

The Bearcats ended the day with a 2-4 overall record, 2-0 in the Northwest Conference. George Fox dropped to 3-5 overall, 0-2 in the NWC.

With  two outs, two runners on base and the score tied 5-5 in the last inning of the first game, Fernandes blasted a homer over the center field fence, as Willamette prevailed in the first game of the four-game series. Courtney Galli (Jr., 1B, Rocklin, CA/Whitney HS) and Erin Norris (So., 3B, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) also scored on the play.

The inning began with GFU pitcher Erin Hento earning a strikeout. Martin followed with a triple to right for WU. Ashley Pender (Fr., 2B, Reno, NC/North Valleys HS) singled through the left side of the infield to drive in Martin, cutting the Bruins' lead to 5-4. Keli Snyder (Sr., C, Longview, WA/Kelso HS) flied out to second base, as GFU moved within one out of winning the game.

Galli and Norris both singled, with Pender scoring on Norris' hit up the middle. Ferdandes batted next and provided the game-winning home run.

The opener was a back-and-forth battle long before the seventh inning. Willamette led 1-0 after Martin reached base on a throwing error to start the game and scored later in the first inning. GFU countered with a solo homer by Rachel Fielder to leadoff the second inning. The Bruins moved in front 2-1 when Kayla Anderson singled and eventually scored in the third inning.

Willamette tied the game in the third stanza, despite losing two runners on the same play, as they were caught stealing from first and third. With two outs, Pender doubled to center and then scored when Snyder singled.

A solo homer by Jenna Kirk propelled George Fox into a 3-2 advantage in the top of the fourth. The lead disappeared after Martin scored in the fifth inning on a double by Snyder. GFU tacked on a run from Kirk in the sixth inning, but left two runners on base. In the top of the seventh, Amanda Woods scored on a double by Kerrianne Davidson, giving the Bruins a 5-3 edge.

Following Davidson's hit, GFU had runners at second and third with no outs. WU pitcher Victoria Bradshaw (Fr., RHP, Discovery Bay, CA/Liberty HS), who was relieved in the sixth inning, returned to the circle. She registered a strikeout and allowed a walk, before forcing the Bruins into a fly out and and a groundout to end the inning with the bases loaded.

Willamette scored five unearned runs in the first inning of the second game, as the Bearcats took advantage of two hits and four GFU errors. WU led 5-1 entering the second inning, and later added four runs in the third inning and three more in the fourth for a 12-1 lead. George Fox tallied two runs in the top of the fifth inning, but couldn't prevent the 8-run rule from going into effect.

The two hits for the Bearcats in the first inning were a double by Pender and an RBI single by Fernandes. Pender added another double -- her third of the day -- to drive in two runs in the the third inning. Galli belted a double to open the fourth inning, which featured six hits by the Bearcats.

Hayley Glantz (So., RHP, Reno, NV/Robert McQueen HS) pitched all five innings for Willamette and moved to 1-2 with the win. She struck out four batters and allowed four walks.

George Fox earned just five hits in the second game. Anderson was 2 for 2 for the Bruins with a run scored. Kirk registered a double in the fourth inning.

Meanwhile, Willamette accumulated 12 hits. Fernandes was 2 for 3 with two runs and two RBIs. Pender also went 2 for 3, scored once and drove in two runs. Martin added a 2-for-4 performance with a run and two RBIs.

Martin finished with the most hits on the day for Willamette, as she went 5 for 8 overall, while Pender earned four hits in five at bats.

Fernandes, who entered the first game after Heather Winslow (So., RF, Oregon City, OR/Oregon City HS) injured her leg sliding into second base in the second inning, was 3 for 6 during the doubleheader. Also collecting three hits was Norris, who finished 3 for 6.

The teams are set to conclude the series with another doubleheader on Sunday, Feb. 24. First pitch is slated for 12 p.m. (PST).

BOX SCORES

Willamette University 8
George Fox University 5
Statistics

Willamette University 12
George Fox University 3
5 innings, Run Rule
Statistics
Allie Martin was 5 for 8 at the plate during the doubleheader. She hit a triple, scored four runs and earned two RBIs.

Allie Martin was 5 for 8 at the plate during the doubleheader. She hit a triple, scored four runs and earned two RBIs.