Pioneers in postseason race after eighth win in nine games

Pioneers in postseason race after eighth win in nine games

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers are tied for fourth place in the Northwest Conference standings. After a pair of 9-6 wins over Pacific on Saturday at Huston Sports Complex, the Pios moved even with the Boxers and Pacific Lutheran for the conference's final postseason spot. The trio is one game behind third-place George Fox.

Lewis & Clark has now won eight of its last nine games, including five in a row, to improve to 17-17 on the season. All are bests in the seven-year tenure of head coach Shawna Cyrus.

Game 1 - Lewis & Clark 9, Pacific 6

A nine-run sixth inning fueled Lewis & Clark's come-from-behind, 9-6 victory over visiting Pacific on Saturday. Emily Drevdahl hit a leadoff home run off Pacific starter Marissa Reichard, Drevdahl's fourth of the season, to give the Pios their first run after falling behind 3-0.

The blast to center field started a nine-run rally in which Pacific made two pitching changes. Paige Salavea and Hannah Dal Pra followed Drevdahl's homer with walks, the first allowed by Reichard in the game, before Jenai Rojo and Ateisha Norton hit singles to load the bases. Cassie Apple replaced Reichard and gave up a single to Brooke Koran. On the hit, pinch runners Holly Hale and Stephanie Garcia scored. Hale was awarded home plate after Pacific's Quirena Natividad was called for obstruction at third base.

With the game tied at 3-3, Ashley Bolick hit an RBI single to score Norton, which was the fourth run charged to Reichard (13-6), who took the pitching loss. Lindsay Yearman and Drevdahl had two more RBI singles for the Pios, with two more runs coming home on a passed ball and an error by Pacific.

"Momentum. It was definitely momentum," said Bolick, who picked up her sixth RBI of the season. "One person started hitting and we all wanted to jump in with them."

"Our pitchers are really holding us in games right now, allowing us to be confident in our offense, and we've just been explosive," said Cyrus. "We're just out having a great time and not putting much pressure on ourselves to be perfect."

It was the second-highest scoring inning of the season for Lewis & Clark, which entered the game with the NWC's best scoring offense. On Feb. 21, the Pios put up 10 runs in one inning in a 23-1 win over Walla Walla.

Kady Bruce (3-4) earned her third win of the season, pitching six innings and allowing eight hits and three earned runs. She struck out four and walked three before Jill Pinder threw the final inning. Pacific plated three runs in the top of the seventh on an Ashley Mitchell home run, Caitlyn Ramiscal's walk and Rachel Roberts' sacrifice fly.

Norton was a perfect 3 for 3 in the game, while Yearman and Drevdahl had two hits apiece. Drevdahl and Salavea had two RBI each.

Game 2 - Lewis & Clark 9, Pacific 6

The Boxers scored five runs in the opening half-inning, but Lewis & Clark answered back with four in the bottom of the first en route to a 9-6 victory, and a day one sweep of Pacific.

Lewis & Clark added two runs in the second and three in the sixth on 12 hits and despite four errors. Jenai Rojo batted 3 for 3 with two runs and an RBI. Paige Salavea and Brooke Koran went 2 for 4 with three combined RBI, while Tiana Rosario added a pair of runs batted in as well.

Kalin Rooney (6-3) replaced Pioneers starter Sarah Reyes after an inning. The junior threw six innings without allowing an earned run. She gave up three hits and one run overall with two strikeouts and a walk. The win was her fourth in her last seven appearances.

"It's just a lot of fun having the opportunity to coach this group of young women," said Cyrus. "Everyone is 'all-in' and they know if they fail, someone's right behind them to pick them up."

Salavea hit an RBI double to start the Pios' scoring in the first, before Rosario drew a walk with the bases loaded to score another. Hannah Dal Pra scored on a wild pitch by Pacific starter Allie Sims. After Reyes was walked, Sims was replaced by Alyssa Burns (2-4), who pitched the rest of the game in a losing effort. Lindsay Yearman's RBI single to right field added the fourth run of the first inning for the Pioneers.

Singles by Koran (pictured right) and Rosario led to Lewis & Clark's pair of runs in the second, while Rojo and Koran had RBI singles in the sixth. Dal Pra earned an RBI when she reached on an error in the same inning.

The teams play the final two games of the series starting at 12 p.m. on Sunday (#PioStream Video | Live stats). George Fox plays host to Willamette, while Pacific Lutheran plays at conference-leading Whitworth.

Other Northwet Conference Scores - Saturday

Linfield 3, Puget Sound 0
George Fox 9, Willamette 7 (8 inn.)
Whitworth 5, Pacific Lutheran 2
Linfield 9, Puget Sound 1 (5 inn.)
Whitworth 3, Pacific Lutheran 2
Willamette 7, George Fox 2 

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