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Whitworth Softball

Whitworth softball wins one, loses one

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by Whitworth Athletics

SPOKANE, Wash. - Whitworth scored single runs in each of the final five innings to rally for a 5-4 win over visiting Pacific (Ore.) in the opener of a Northwest Conference softball doubleheader on Sunday afternoon at Diana Marks Field. The Boxers won the nightcap and series finale 5-0 behind the two-hit pitching of Miranda McNealy.

Whitworth is now 17-14 overall and 11-12 in the NWC, while Pacific is 21-13, 16-6. The teams split the four-game series.

Game 1 - Whitworth 5, Pacific 4
With Whitworth ace Jessica Mangis leaving early due to injury and the Pirates trailing 3-0, things did not look good for the hosts. But Alyssa Bergquist pitched 5.1 innings of outstanding relief to keep the Boxers within reach and her teammates chipped away for a 5-4 win.

Pacific scored in the first on Brooke Fogwell's RBI single, then added two more in the second on Jessie Garcia's RBI hit and a throwing error that allowed Garcia to score after she had stolen third.

Bergquist (5-6) came in with one out in the second and limited Pacific to one run on two hits over the final 5.2 innings. The only run came on Garcia's solo home run leading off the fourth inning.

Meanwhile Whitworth would score single runs in each of the final five innings, three against starter Chelsey Chamberlain and two against McNealy in relief.

Hesselgesser's infield hit with the bases loaded got the Bucs on the board in the third, but the Pirates left them loaded. Lacey Kerr was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the fourth, but again Chamberlain left them loaded. McKenzie Stuby singled home Hesselgesser in the fifth to pull Whitworth within one run. After McNealy came on in the sixth, Kerr singled home Sami Parr to tie the game.

Bergquist wriggled out of a jam in the top of the seventh after Pacific had runners on first and third with one out. But she got Ashley Billingsley to and Brooke Toy to pop out to end the threat.

Whitworth benefited from two hit batters in the bottom of the seventh, and a wild pitch with one out that moved both up a base. Parr then hit a drive to deep left-center field. As Stephanie Vanoudenhaegen line up her attempt to throw home and prevent the sacrifice fly, the ball fell out of her glove and pinch-runner Tori Erickson scored the winning run.

Game 2 - Pacific 5, Whitworth 0
McNealy bounced back from her loss in the first game to fire a two-hit shutout in the nightcap.

Chamberlain, playing designated player, drilled a two-run home run in the top of the first inning. In the third inning Teri Shigeno tripled home a run, then scored on Chamberlain's RBI single through the left side. Pacific tallied its final run in the sixth on Garcia's single up the middle that scored Toy.

Chamberlain finished 2-3 with three RBIs. Vanoudenhaegen was 4-4 with two runs scored for the Boxers.

Kerr and Ashley Carey were the only Pirates to get a hit off of McNealy (12-5), who finished with three strikeouts and no walks.

Jessica Dickson (2-3) went the distance in the circle for Whitworth, allowing five runs on 11 hits with three strikeouts and a walk.

Whitworth will complete its season next weekend with a four-game series at Willamette. Pacific closes its season next weekend with four games against conference champion Linfield.

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