Bearcats Win First Game, Split Doubleheader against Whitworth

Snyder Finishes 3 for 3 at the Plate in Game 1

By Brandon Chinn and Robert McKinney

SPOKANE, WASH. --The Bearcats received timely hitting in the seventh inning of game one of a doubleheader on their way to a 5-3 victory against Whitworth University on Saturday, April 6 at Marks Field. The Pirates rallied late in the second game to steal a 5-4 walk-off win.

With the doubleheader split, Willamette moved its record to 13-17 overall, and 9-11 in the Northwest Conference. The victory in game two improved Whitworth's record to 19-15, 13-9 in the NWC.

The Bearcats entered the final inning of the first game tied at 3-3 with Whitworth, after each team tallied one run in three of the first five innings. WU trailed 2-1 after three frames, but took a 3-2 lead in the top of the fifth. Whitworth tied the score in the bottom of the inning.

Neither team scored in the sixth, although Willamette turned a double play, forcing the Pirates to leave two runners on base.

McKenzie Wasley (Fr., INF., Reno, NV/Galena HS) led off the seventh inning with an infield single. Two batters later Ashley Pender (Fr., INF, Reno, NV/North Valleys HS) delivered a clutch two-out double to bring home the go-ahead run. Kelli Snyder (Sr., C, Longview, WA/Kelso HS) then followed Pender's efforts with a double of her own, providing Willamette with an extra insurance run.

In the bottom of the seventh, Jamie Brunner reached first base on an error at shortstop with one out. Heather Hesselgesser followed for the Pirates by hitting a line drive toward Pender, who caught the ball and then threw to Courtney Galli (Jr., 3B/1B, Rocklin, CA/Whitney HS) at first base. Brunner didn't have time to tag up, as the game ended with a double play.

Snyder (Sr., C,Longview, WA/Kelso HS) led the Bearcats offensive charge in game one with three hits in as many at bats, while Pender finished 1 for 4 with the game-winning RBI. In the circle, Victoria Bradshaw (Fr., P, Discovery Bay, CA/Liberty HS) pitched three scoreless innings of relief to earn the win and improve her record to 5-4 on the season.

In search of a doubleheader sweep, Willamette scored three runs in the final two innings fo the second game to take a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the seventh.

Willamette tallied one run in the sixth inning when Amanda Fernandes (So., UT, Elk Grove, CA/Franklin HS) belted a solo home run to tied the game. In the seventh, Pender hit an RBI double and Snyder contributed an RBI single. Jenna King (So., OF, Camarillo, CA/Adolfo Camarillo HS) and Heather Winslow (So., 1B/RF, Oregon City, OR/Oregon City HS) each scored a run.

Whitworth rallied back, notching four hits and three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to walk-off with a come from behind 5-4 victory.

With one out, Megan John and M'Liss Powles singled, and then a groundout moved the runners to second and third. A single by Alyssa Martinez drove in both runners to tie the score. Brunner batted next and sent a double into left field to bring in pinch-runner Caylan Haehl from first base with the winning run.

Snyder and Pender each recorded two more hits and an RBI for Willamette in the loss. King, Winslow and Fernandes also notched one hit for the Bearcats. The home run by Fernandes was her third of the season.

Powles went 2 for 3 for Whitworth. Sixth other Pirates registered one hit apiece, as Whitworth gained an 8-7 edge in hits. Willamette outhit the Pirates, 9-8, in the first game.

The Bearcats and the Pirates are slated to complete the four-game series with a doubleheader on Sunday, April 7. First pitch is set for 12 p.m. (PDT).


Willamette University 5
Whitworth University 3

Whitworth University 5
Willamette University 4

Kelli Snyder finished the day five for six with two RBIs during Saturday's doubleheader against Whitworth.

Kelli Snyder finished the day five for six with two RBIs during Saturday's doubleheader against Whitworth.