SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitworth leads Linfield 6-5 in the bottom of the fifth inning in a winners' bracket game of the Northwest Conference softball tournament, but the game was suspended by lightning and will resume at 9:45 am on Saturday morning.
The Pirates defeated Pacific University 4-2 in the tournament opener on Friday morning to advance to the winners' bracket. Linfield defeated George Fox 9-0 in six innings to advance out of the second first round game. George Fox then eliminated Pacific 4-1 in a losers' bracket game.
The winner of the Whitworth-Linfield game will advance to the championship round on Saturday at 1:30 pm. The loser will take on George Fox in another loser-out contest scheduled for 11:00 am.
The Boxers jumped out in front when Ashley Mitchell drilled her 10th home run of the season with two outs in the bottom of the first inning. Whitworth would not answer against Pacific pitcher Marissa Reichard until the bottom of the fourth. Kelsey Downey singled with two outs and Silva followed with her drive down the left field line and just over the foul pole, giving the Bucs the lead at 2-1. It was Silva's third homer of the season.
Rena Natividad tied the game with a solo home run in the top of the sixth inning, her fifth of the year for the Boxers.
But Whitworth again scored in its final at-bat of the game to pull out a win. Chelsey Hayes walked to lead off the bottom of the sixth and went to second base on a wild pitch. With one out, Downey singled to right field. A throw home was going to hold Hayes at third base, but the throw got away from the catcher, allowing Hayes to score and Downey to get all the way to third base. Morgan Portlock then delivered a pinch hit single that drove in Downey for the final run.
Lefever retired Pacific in order in the top of the seventh inning to improve to 19-3 this season. She allowed the two runs on four hits with five strikeouts and no walks. Downey finished 2-3 at the plate and scored two runs.
Five of the Pirates' last six wins have come in their final at-bat of the game. Whitworth is 29-11 this season.
Reichard (17-8) went all six innings for the Boxers, allowing four runs on five hits with six strikeouts and three walks. Pacific fell to 25-15-1.
Game 2 – Whitworth leads Linfield 6-5 in the bottom of the fifth inning
The Pirates jumped out to a 6-1 lead, but Linfield got back to back home runs in the top of the fifth inning to pull back within a run.
Myranda Ramirez is 2-2 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Chelsey Hayes also has driven in two RBIs for Whitworth.
Erin Kinney hit a three-run homer in the top of the fifth for Linfield to get the Wildcats within 6-4 and Erin Taucher followed with a solo shot to make it 6-5. It was Taucher's second of the day and eighth of the year.
The game will resume with Alyssa Hall at the plate with a 2-2 count and no outs in the bottom of the fifth inning.