Whitworth softball splits doubleheader with Linfield; clinches 3 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Whitworth softball splits doubleheader with Linfield; clinches 3rd straight NWC regular season title

Whitworth Athletics

McMINNVILLE, Ore. - The Pirates bounced back from a five-run loss in game three with a 6-3 game four win to split 2-2 with Linfield in a four-game Northwest Conference softball series. 

Whitworth (32-8) edged Linfield (32-8, 21-7) for the Northwest Conference regular season crown with a 23-5 NWC record. 

Game One: Linfield 7, Whitworth 2

The Wildcats drove in six runs in the sixth inning to take game one and edge the Pirates for the series. Linfield pitcher Shelby Saylors improved to 16-3 after giving up four hits in a complete game. 

Melanie Oord hit a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring one, to give the Wildcats an early advantage.  

A two RBI home run courtesy of Rheanne Lewis in the second inning landed the Pirates up 2-1. 

In the bottom of the sixth inning with two on, Oord singled to the pitcher and scoring one  to tie the game up at 2-2. Erin Kinney batted in two more on the next at bat with a single to left field and Allen followed that up with an RBI single, scoring Kinney. Kenzie Schmoll finished Linfield's six-run inning with a two RBI double for the final scores of the game.  

Kinney (2-4) and Oord (1-3) had two RBIs apiece to lead the Wildcats.  

Perez (19-3) threw five innings and allowed nine hits before being replaced by Sarah Ballinger. Linfield's Saylors gave up four hits, one walk, and had two strikeouts. 

Game Two: Whitworth 6, Linfield 3 

Silva started the Pirates off with a three RBI double in the bottom of the first inning and Perez added another on a sac fly to put Whitworth up early and take game two and the NWC title from the Wildcats.  

In the bottom of the second, Shannon Wessel doubled scoring Smith (unearned) and McNaught (earned) to increase Whitworth's lead to six. 

Linfield attempted a comeback in the third, scoring three runs on two singles and a fielder's choice to cut the Pirates' lead to three. The Whitworth defense left six more runners stranded over the next four innings to hold off the Wildcats and finish the four-game series. 

Silva went 3-4 with three RBIs and a run to lead Whitworth. Wessel (2-4) added two more RBIs. Cheyenne Fletcher and Oord both went 1-4 with an RBI to Linfield. 

Perez earned her 20th win of the season, walking only one batter and recording a strikeout. For the Wildcats, Saylors (16-4) gave up six runs in two innings before being replaced in the third, recording the loss. 

Next Up: The Pirates will face George Fox at home in the first round of the Northeast Conference softball tournament on Friday, April 21 at noon.

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