by Brandon Loiler, Sports Information Assistant
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The Pirates completed their first sweep of the 2017 softball season in a double-header with Occidental at Bell Field in Los Angeles.
Whitworth improves to 4-2 through the first weekend of softball action in addition to keeping the Tigers winless to start the season (0-2).
Game One: Whitworth 2, Occidental 0
Oxy batters went down 1-2-3 in the second, third, and fourth inning, until a Stephanie Stamnes single to right field in the bottom of the fifth advanced Olivia Olmos to third where she was left on base after Tessa Matthews fielded an infield fly at shortstop.
Despite only two hits for both teams through five innings, Whitworth managed to get a pair of runs on the board in the top of the sixth. Shannon Wessel showed her strength getting the Pirates third hit on a triple to get in scoring position for Michelle Silva. Silva brought her home on a single, then a Matthews double to center field scored one more.
In the top of the seventh, Madi Perez was walked and Morgan Portlock found herself on first after being hit by a wild pitch. Pinch runners Kelsey Downey and Maria Smith came in for both Perez and Portlock and advanced to second and third on a Logan Miller single to shortstop. With two down, a groundout left three stranded for the Pirates.
In the seventh inning, Perez stepped to the mound and with one on and two down, struck out Oxy batter Stamnes to seal game one.
Perez pitched her first full game of the season, walking no batters and striking out two to get the win. Madison Romero pitched six innings, giving up five hits and two runs to fall to 0-1 on the season. Silva kept her bat hot going 2-3 with an RBI and Tessa Matthews drove the other run home on 1-3 from the plate. Mackensie Priley, Nyla Gatison, and Stamnes went 1-3.
Game Two: Whitworth 4, Occidental 2
The Tigers got on the board early with Natalie Gatison singling to second base, advancing on an Alexis Funaki single, and stealing third. Alex Battest singled to centerfield the next at bat, bringing Gatison home to go up 1-0.
The bats started ringing for the Pirates in the top of the sixth, driving in two runs on four hits to tie the game up. Silva and Matthews were on first and second with a fielder's choice and a single. Morgan Portlock stepped up and singled to center field for her first RBI of the season, bringing Silva home. Allie rude flew out to second base and on the next at bat, Perez was hit by pitch advancing Portlock to second and Matthews to third. Natalie Edlin doubled to left field scoring Matthews and Portlock, giving the Pirates a 3-2 lead.
And in the seventh inning, Shannon Wessel sent one over the fence for the final score of the contest. A strikeout and two groundouts to short stop in the first four Oxy at bats sealed the sweep for Whitworth.
Edlin replaced Holmes, coming in and going 1-1 with two RBIs and Shannon Wessel sent her second HR to centerfield to put the cherry on top of a two-win afternoon for the Pirates. Sarah Ballinger moves to 1-0, pitching three innings with one strikeout. Funaki gets the loss for the Tigers, dropping to 0-1 in their first day of action.
Looking Ahead: The Whitworth softball team will stay down in Southern California to face Cal Lutheran, Whittier, and Chapman on February 9, 10, and 12.