PORTLAND, Ore. - The Lewis & Clark softball team opened Northwest Conference action on Saturday afternoon with two losses to #17 Linfield. The Wildcats earned a 9-0 win in the opening game, before taking game two 9-2.
The PIoneers are now 2-4 on the season and 0-2 in the Northwest Conference. The Wildcats remain undefeated with an 8-0 overall record and 2-0 conference record.
Two Pioneer errors helped the Wildcats plate two of their three runs in the first inning. After getting out of the inning the Pioneers managed to get two runners on base, but were unable to send either of them home.
Linfield tacked on three more runs in the top of the second inning with Grace Middlestadt knocking in Alissa Buss and Cheyenne Fletcher with a double down the left field line. Middlestadt came around to score moments later on a pass ball. The Wildcats made it 7-0 in the top of the third with another run coming across.
The Pioneers began to settle down after the third inning, sitting Linfield down in order in the fourth, before holding them scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings. The scoreless streak was ended in the seventh inning with two more Linfield runs coming in.
Tiana Rosario ended the game 2-of-3 from the plate, while Madison Hollenbeck and Amanda Rabith were both 1-of-2. Kalin Rooney picked up the loss for Lewis & Clark after five innings of work, striking out four.
The second game began similarly to the first with defensive errors early in the game costing the Pioneers.
Trailing 8-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning the Pioneers put together their best inning of the day. Lindsay Yearman started the inning off with a double to center field, which was followed by a single up the middle by Jenai Rojo. Rojo moved to second on the same play when the Wildcats threw home in an attempt to keep Yearman at third. Senior Amanda Rabith continued the hitting with a single to right center that brought in Yearman and moved Rojo to third.
With runners at first and third, the Wildcats walked the bases loaded courtesy of a patient at bat by Nicki Burnett. Linfield managed to retire the next two batters before Rosario knocked the ball to the shortstop who mishandled it, allowing everyone to move up a base, scoring Rojo. Unfortunately, those were the only runs the Pioneers managed to get across.
Linfield added one more run in the top of the fifth to round out the scoring.
Yearman and Rojo both finished 1-of-3 from the plate, scoring both Pio runs, while Rabith was also 1-of-3 with an RBI.
Hollenbeck pitched the entire game for Lewis & Clark, facing 35 batters in the loss, striking out four of them.
The Pioneers and Wildcats will finish the series on Sunday, March 1 at the Huston Sports Complex. The first game is slatted to begin at 12 p.m.