CLAREMONT, Calif. – Whitworth University opened its 2016 softball season with a doubleheader sweep at Pomona-Pitzer on Saturday afternoon. The Pirates won the first game 3-0 and the nightcap 7-3 to begin the season 2-0. The Sagehens dropped to 1-4 this season.
The Pirates will close out their season-opening trip to California with a doubleheader at the University of Redlands on Sunday.
Game 1 – Whitworth 3, Pomona-Pitzer 0
The Pirates scratched out single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to back the strong pitching effort by Perez.
First-year infielder Michelle Silva scored on a wild pitch in the fourth inning to break the scoreless tie and give Whitworth its first run of the season. Desi Graham, another first-year Pirate, added the second run in the fifth inning when she scored on an error in center field off of the bat of Chelsey Hayes.
Hayes then drew a bases-loaded walk in the top of the sixth for the final run of the game and Whitworth's first RBI of the season.
Perez (1-0) scattered five hits and only found herself in trouble once when the Sagehens had runners on first and third with two outs in the bottom of the sixth after a pair of hits. But Perez got Sam Carlson to pop up to the pitching circle for the final out.
Perez was highly efficient with only one strikeout, but no walks.
Game 2 – Whitworth 7, Pomona-Pitzer 3
The Pirates broke open a 2-2 tie with a five-run rally in the top of the seventh inning.
Whitworth went up 2-0 in the top of the third with two unearned runs. Alyssa Hall scored when Shannon Wessel reached on an error at first base. Chelsey Hayes scored the second run on Morgan Portlock's sacrifice fly.
The Sagehens tied the game in the bottom of the fourth. Liz Rodarte scored from third on a sacrifice bunt. Aryana Lee, who was also on base, came around to score when a throw got away.
Matthews broke the tie in the top of the seventh with a two-run double. Myranda Ramirez added an RBI single and Hayes followed with a two-run single to cap the five-run rally.
Bianca Cockrell added an RBI double in the bottom of the seventh, but that was the last run Pomona-Pitzer would score against Makayla Lefever.
Lefever (1-0) went the distance for Whitworth, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits. She struck out two and walked two.