by Brandon Loiler, Sports Information Assistant
WHITTIER, Calif. - The Pirates scored five unanswered runs in the first game to take a 5-2 victory into game two. Whittier opened up game two with the first four runs, but a big fifth inning from the Pirates landed them up 6-4.
Whitworth completed its' third consecutive sweep to improve to 8-2 on the season. Whittier's opening day resulted in two losses for an 0-2 start to 2017.
Game One: Whitworth 5, Whittier 2
Before getting on the board in the top of the third, Whitworth left three runners on base and was only able to find one hit. Things turned for the Pirates in the third when Tessa Matthews reached first on an error by the left fielder, scoring Michelle Silva and Kinsey McNaught unearned to give the Pirates the first advantage of the game, 2-0.
Matthews stayed hot in the fifth batting in another two runs, Silva and Shannon Wessel, putting the Pirates up four with just over two innings to play. Madi Perez kept the Poets scoreless through five, allowing only one hit and recording two three up three down innings and one walk.
In the sixth, Myranda Ramirez batted in Kelsey Downey on a double down the right field line, but was thrown out at third base. Marialena Ahern attempted to give the Poets a chance in the bottom of the inning, bombing one to right field scoring Kacey Whitney and herself.
Madi Perez played the full game getting the win and recording two strikeouts and giving up four this. Samantha Blum recorded her and the Poets first loss of the season with four strikeouts, three earned runs and eight hits.
Matthews led the Pirates with two RBIs on 1-4 from the plate and Shannon Wessel went a perfect 3-3 with a sacrifice fly. Ahern led Whittier at 1-3 with a homerun and two RBIs.
Game Two: Whitworth 6, Whittier 4
Whittier got on the board in the first inning with a Natalia Sanchez single to left field advancing Sierra Rodriguez to third and scoring Whitney. Kaitlyn Garza stepped up to the plate and sacrificed to left field, scoring Rodriguez to put the Poets up 2-0.
Whittier pitcher Annika Seedborg faced only ten batters through the first three innings, and allowed her first hit in the third. Kinsey McNaught singled to left field, but was left stranded by back to back outs from the Pirates.
Sanchez marked up another RBI in the fifth, scoring Rodriguez. Rodriguez scored on the next at bat by stealing home on a wild pitch, giving the home team a 4-0 advantage.
But the Pirates came with a vengeance in the fifth inning, rallying to score six runs to go up 6-4. McNaught started the rally on a bunt advancing Downey to second and Morgan Portlock to third, but an error by the third basemen allowed Portlock to cross home plate. Ramirez stepped up on the next at bat and singled to left field, scoring Downey, cutting the Poet's lead to two (4-2). A single from Miller advanced Ramirez to third and scored McNaught with only one down. Wessel stood in the batter's box and grounded out to the pitcher, but advanced Miller to third and brought Ramirez home for a tie ball game. Silva bunted on the next at bat and scored Miller, followed by stealing back to back bases to find herself on third. Tessa Matthews stepped up and brought Silva home with a single up the middle. The Poet's escaped a six-run inning by the Pirates by catching Matthews stealing second.
Whittier could not regain control in the seventh leaving three runners on stranded and sealing the sweep for Whitworth, 6-4.
Five different Pirates recorded RBIs and McNaught went 3-3 with a run and Whittier's Rodriguez went 4-5 and scored twice.
Ashley Trueblood records her first win of the season with 3.2 innings pitched, recording one strikeout with no runs. Seedborg (0-1) records Whittiers second loss, throwing a complete game with four strikeouts.
Next Up: The Pirates will take a day off and return to action on Sunday against Chapman on Sunday at noon in Orange, Calif.