Softball battles PLU

The Whitworth softball team went 1-3 last weekend in its trip out to Tacoma, Wash. to take on the Pacific Lutheran University Lutes. Saturday was a rough start to the two-day series for the Bucs who failed to score a run on the day.  The Lutes got out to a quick start in Saturday’s earlier game and didn’t give the Pirates a chance to get back into it. Their 5-0 lead after the first inning had doubled by the fourth inning and the game was over by the fifth due to the mercy rule, the Lutes winning 12-0. Senior Sami Parr led the Bucs with two hits.

The second half of the day wasn’t much better for Whitworth. PLU exploded with nine runs and eight hits in the first two innings, once again leaving the Pirates in the dust. Parr led Whitworth again with two hits. PLU came out on top in another five-inning game posting a final score of 14-0.

The Pirates battled back in Sunday’s first game, however, it still wasn’t enough to overcome the dominant Lutes. Freshman pitcher Riley Fritz, after struggling in her appearances on Saturday, held PLU scoreless for the first three innings.

“She kept PLU on the ropes the whole day,” head coach Cristal Brown said of Fritz. “We’ll live and die by her in some regards.”

The Lutes caught their groove, though, in the fourth and built a 5-0 lead. Whitworth caught some momentum at the end of the game as junior designated hitter Jamie Brunner brought in the Bucs’ first run of the weekend. PLU won the game 5-1.

“We just got hammered on Saturday,” Brown said. “We had got hammered the weekend before and we were fed up.”  

Whitworth wouldn’t rollover for the final game of the series, though. The game remained scoreless until the top of the fourth when junior third baseman Heather Hesselgesser homered and brought Brunner in with her. PLU answered with two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Sophomore right fielder Makenzie Hope scored in the fifth, then Hesselgesser batted Brunner in once again to earn another run in the sixth. Parr and freshman center fielder Sacha Clow scored in the seventh and PLU’s late three-run rally wasn’t enough to put away the Bucs. Whitworth came out on top, 6-5.

“I was super proud of the way the girls came out on Sunday,” Brown said. “They could have come out and rolled over and said ‘we’re not supposed to win.’ It says a lot about the team character and the team fight and what they can do together as a team when they become determined.”

Next weekend Whitworth travels to Forest Grove, Ore., to take on Pacific University in another Northwest Conference matchup.

Story by Sena Hughes Staff Writer

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

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