Boxers best Bucs in four-game series

The Whitworth softball team went 1-3 last weekend in a four-game series in Forest Grove, Ore., last Saturday and Sunday against the Boxers of Pacific University. “It was a tough weekend starting out, but we came together at the end to have a successful last game,” freshman Whitney Byrom said of the weekend.

In Saturday’s earlier game, Whitworth got out to quick start, scoring three runs in the first inning. Senior second baseman Sami Parr scored on a fielder’s choice, which was followed by two runs off of bases-loaded walks by freshman center fielder Sacha Clow and sophomore first baseman Julia Johnson. Pacific caught up quickly and went on to score three more runs in the third. Byrom, a pinch runner, scored again for Whitworth in the seventh, but Pacific walked away with the 7-4 home victory.

The second game came down to the wire. The Pirates exploded in the third inning, scoring five runs after Pacific jumped out to the quick 2-0 start. The Boxers answered with five more runs in the bottom of the third. Freshman pitcher Megan Fisher scored in the fourth then Johnson hit a homer in the fifth. Parr and Clow both scored in the sixth, giving Whitworth a 9-8 lead going into the bottom of the inning. Key Pirate errors lead to a Boxer comeback in the final innings, giving Pacific a 10-9 win, their second victory of the weekend.

“In the second game, we started hitting really well, but I don’t think we were all expecting to win,” sophomore third baseman Hannah Boyd said. “That’s what we need to work on: we need to expect to win every game.”

Sunday’s games were delayed due to rain, but eventually got underway. In the first game, Whitworth put up a good fight, but Pacific pulled out the win in the end. Junior right fielder Heather Hesselgesser had the Pirates’ first run of the game in the second inning. The Boxers answered with three runs in the third.

“In the first game instead of shutting them down when we were ahead, we let them score runs that they shouldn’t have been getting,” Byrom said.

Parr scored in the fifth, then Boyd singled to bat in sophomore pitcher Jessica Ross in the sixth. The final runs weren’t enough to overcome the Boxers, though, and Pacific came out on top, 4-3.

Whitworth rallied in the final game of the weekend, earning a 6-3 victory. The Bucs came out ready to play, quickly jumping out to a 4-0 lead in the first three innings.

“Today we came out with a little different [attitude],” Byrom said Sunday. “We decided we didn’t want to lose to a team that we should be beating. We were hitting more as a unit than we were as individuals.”

Pacific scored two runs in the bottom of the third but Whitworth didn’t let up. Freshman pinch hitter Peyton McMahon singled to drive in Ross in the fifth and Clow clubbed a homer in the sixth. The Boxers scored once more in the bottom of the sixth, but the Pirates came out on top.

Though the Pirates finished the weekend with a win, improvements are still necessary.

“We’re just looking forward to next weekend and showing what we can actually do as a team,” Boyd said.

Next weekend the Bucs take on the Loggers of Puget Sound at home before heading south for the Tucson Invitational March 21-23.

Sena Hughes Staff Writer

Contact Sena Hughes at shughes15@my.whitworth.edu.

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