SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Lewis & Clark Pioneers couldn't come up with the third out in the Whitworth Pirates' five-run third inning in Saturday's 6-1 series-opening loss at Diana Marks Field. The game started about two hours later than originally scheduled because of weather.
After picking up the first two outs of the third, a wild pitch and three hits gave the Pirates five runs to put the Pios in an early five-run hole. Lewis & Clark scored its only run of the game when Frankie Warden scored on an error during Zoe Juarez's at-bat.
"The first game was tough," said Lewis & Clark head coach Shawna Cyrus. "We came out firing on all cylinders, and then they had one inning where they put it all together and all with two outs. We were deflated after that inning, and that's not really our character. We're usually fighters until the end."
The Pios had two on with two outs in the opening inning after singles by Warden and Ateisha Norton. The following inning, Sydney Cross hit a leadoff single before she was tagged out trying to advance from second to third during Juarez's at-bat. Ariel Trinidad followed that sequence with a single, but was left stranded, one of seven left on base by the Pioneers. Whitworth (19-13, 12-8 NWC) committed three errors in the game.
Savannah Dickson (5-8) allowed six runs on nine hits with five strikeouts before Emily Drevdahl pitched the final inning of the game. Dickson had allowed three hits before the stretch in the third inning that undid the Pios.
Kelsey Downey went 3 for 3 with a double to lead the Pirates offensively and Madelyn Carlson improved to 13-6 on the year with a complete-game win.
Lewis & Clark gave up five runs in the bottom of the first en route to a 6-4 defeat in game two.
Pioneers starter Megan Anderson (3-10) bounced back from giving up four of her nine hits allowed in the opening inning and pitched the whole game. All six runs were earned and she allowed three walks, all in the first inning.
Four different Pioneers had multi-hit games as Lewis & Clark scored runs in the second, third and fourth innings. Frankie Warden hit a two-out double in the seventh inning to bring the tying run to the plate, but the Pios' comeback attempt came up short.
"The second game we had good energy, but that first inning did us in," said Cyrus. "A combo of walks, errors and hits right off the bat was just too hard of a hole to dig out of."
Ateisha Norton hit her seventh home run of the year to give the Pioneers their first run of the game in the second inning. Norton is now tied for the fourth-most homers in the Northwest Conference and extended her career high. In the third, Emily Drevdahl hit a two-RBI double to score Stephanie Garcia and Paige Salavea. An inning later, Ariel Trinidad singled in Zoe Juarez.
Warden picked up her seventh multi-hit game of the season, second-most on the team, with a 2 for 4 performance. The sophomore has hit a double in three of her last four games. Garcia also finished 2 for 4 for her fifth multi-hit game of the season. Juarez and Trinidad had two hits apiece.
"We had some great at-bats. We hit the ball really well, so we did have some positives," said Cyrus. "Tomorrow our goal is to sustain our momentum and trust in ourselves and our abilities."
Lewis & Clark (8-18, 7-15 NWC) completes its series with the Pirates beginning at noon on Sunday.