SALEM, Ore. -- Building upon a win at Linfield last weekend, and a make-up doubleheader sweep of Puget Sound on Thursday, the Lewis & Clark Pioneers took their first Northwest Conference series of the year with a sweep of Sunday's pair at Willamette.
Including a split in Saturday's opening doubleheader with the Bearcats at the WU Softball Field, Lewis & Clark has won five of its last six games and are within one game of Willamette in the NWC standings.
Game 1: Lewis & Clark 2, Willamette 0
Hannah Dal Pra singled in a run in the third inning, and Zoe Juarez scored during Emily Drevdahl's at-bat in the fourth, to help the Pios to a 2-0 win over Willamette in the opener of Sunday's doubleheader.
Lewis & Clark made the most of its opportunities and capitalized on three Willamette errors, as the Pioneers were outhit, 5-4. Paige Salavea, Tiana Rosario and Drevdahl each had a hit along with Dal Pra, with Drevdahl's a double.
Lewis & Clark starter Kalin Rooney (5-3) earned the win, her third in the last five games, after throwing 4 1/3 scoreless innings on four hits, two strikeouts and a walk. Jill Pinder was credited with a save to complete the shutout.
"As a senior, I've seen this team have much potential, and finally today, I saw 17 girls work together, all out, for two huge wins," said Pinder. "It also helped we got an ice cream reward afterward."
Pinder faced 11 batters, throwing two strikeouts and two walks without giving up a run on one hit.
Jade Smith pitched the whole game for Willamette, taking the loss to fall to 5-7. Steffany Dunn went 3 for 3 to lead the Bearcats offensively. Willamette left three runners stranded in the fifth inning after loading the bases with one out. Pinder replaced Rooney and struck out Katie Hammitt, intentionally walked Ashley Pender before forcing Kathryn Moore to fly out.
Game 2 - Lewis & Clark 9, Willamette 1 (5 innings)
The Pioneers started early with five runs in the top of the first inning to build a seven-run lead before closing out a 9-1 victory in five innings in game two of the Sunday doubleheader.
Drevdahl, who finished with three RBI in the game, brought in Lindsay Yearman in the fourth inning with a double to center field. Rojo added an RBI single to score Drevdahl. In the fifth inning, Rosario scored on an error by Mallory Asaro before Salavea singled in Yearman.
"It feels really good to knock off a good softball team like Willamette three times," said Lewis & Clark head coach Shawna Cyrus. "It's been inside this team all season, and it finally busted out today. We've seen so many glimpses of greatness in this team, and it was so fun to finally see it all come out.
"Our pitching was just lights out today. We only gave up one run on the day, which is just incredible."
Willamette's run came in the fourth inning when Ashley Pender scored on a throwing error.
Sarah Reyes (2-2) won her second game of the series, throwing five innings and allowing one run on three hits with a walk.
Reanna Lancaster was the losing pitcher, making it only one inning, but giving up four hits and five runs, three of which were earned. She faced nine batters.
"We're hoping to take this momentum into the upcoming weekend's home games," said Cyrus, whose team returns to Portland on Friday against Puget Sound before a four-game series with Pacific on Apr. 9-10.
Other Northwest Conference Scores - Sunday
Whitworth 2, Puget Sound 0
Pacific Lutheran 10, Linfield 2 (5 inn.)
Pacific 6, George Fox 0
Linfield 4, Pacific Lutheran 3
Whitworth 8, Puget Sound 1
George Fox 3, Pacific 2 (8 inn.)