SALEM, Ore. - The Lewis & Clark softball team was unable to hold off the Willamette Bearcats in the final two games of the Northwest Conference series on Sunday. The Bearcats earned a 4-3 win in the opening game before winning the second 8-4.
Lewis & Clark wasted no time getting the scoring started in the first game, posting two runs in the first inning. Haley Robinson led off the inning with a single through the right side and quickly made her way to second with a stolen base. Lindsay Yearman moved the junior to third on a sacrifice bunt, putting the Pioneer speedster in prime scoring position. Hannah Dal Pra knocked in her classmate moments later with a triple through the right side. Dal Pra came home on the very next pitch as Madison Hollenbeck flew out to the right fielder, giving the Pio second baseman just enough time to come home.
Willamette countered in the bottom half of the inning with a single run on a sacrifice fly by Amanda Absher.
Three Bearcat errors in the top of the second had all the makings of a big scoring inning for the Pios, but Willamette managed to escape having given up just one run. With the bases loaded and two outs, Robinson hit the ball to the shortstop who over threw first, allowing Ateisha Norton to score.
Trailing 3-1, Willamette earned another run back in the fourth with a single to third by Erin Norris that scored Kayla Rieger. The Pioneers maintained control of the lead until the bottom of the seventh when Ashley Pender came up big for the Bearcats with a two-run RBI single to right field.
Like the first game, the Pioneers got the scoring started immediately with two runs in the first inning. This time both runs came in on a homerun by Hollenbeck. The senior sent the ball flying over the fence in center, picking up Yearman along the way.
Willamette went on to tie the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the second with a two-run sacrifice fly by Norris.
The game would stay deadlocked until the sixth inning, when the Pioneers put up two more runs. The first run came across on an Amanda Rabith sacrifice fly, sending Kylee Kennel home. Kennel came in to pinch run for Dal Pra who reached on a lead-off double to left. The second run scored on a solo homerun by Norton.
Once again the Bearcats countered, this time with a six run sixth inning. Trailing 8-4, the Pioneers would not be able to push anyone across in the top of the seventh.
The Pioneers close out the season with a four game series at Whitworth. The two teams will meet for a double-header on Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 19.