PARKLAND, Wash. – Visiting Whitworth defeated Pacific Lutheran 4-0 and 4-3 on Saturday at the PLU softball field to extend the Pirates' winning streak to 13 games in a row, tied for the second longest in school history.
Madi Perez threw a complete-game shutout in the opener and 1.2 innings of hitless relief in the nightcap to improve to 17-1 this season and pick up her third save of the year, helping Whitworth improve to 29-5 overall and 20-2 in the NWC. The Pirates remain alone in first place in the Northwest Conference standings. Whitworth also moved within three victories of tying for the longest winning streak in school history.
Whitworth and PLU (16-12, 12-10 NWC) will complete the series with another doubleheader on Sunday.
Game 1 – Whitworth 4, PLU 0
Perez allowed only two hits and two walks through seven innings to improve to 17-1 this season. She struck out two batters and allowed only one Lute to reach as far as third base. Shannon Wessell drove in two runs and scored twice to lead the Whitworth offense.
The Pirates got on the board in the top of the third after Desi Graham reached on an error and eventually scored on Shannon Wessel's single. In the fifth inning it was Wessel's turn to reach on an error, which drove in Kinsey McNaught. Wessel then scored on Michelle Silva's double.
Wessel scored one more run in the top of the seventh after she doubled and scored on a Tessa Matthews double.
Wessel and Matthews each finished with a pair of hits for the Bucs.
Marissa Miller went the distance for PLU in the circle and fell to 7-7 after allowing four runs (two earned) on eight hits.
Game 2 – Whitworth 4, PLU 3
The Pirates opened a 4-1 lead in the top of the sixth and held on after Perez came in to throw 1.2 innings of hitless relief to pick up her third save of the year.
Ashley Trueblood pitched the first 5.1 innings for Whitworth and improved to 8-1 this season after allowing three runs on six hits. She had three strikeouts and no walks.
The Lutes took a 1-0 lead in the second on a solo home run by Jessica Wallace. Whitworth then took the lead in the top of the third after Kelsey Downey and McNaught reached on singles and went to second on a sacrifice. They were both able to score when a pickoff attempt by the catcher got away for a two-run throwing error.
Whitworth added two more runs in the sixth. Perez led off with a double and scored when Megan Portlock's ground back was thrown away by the short stop. Portlock eventually scored on a ground out off of the bat of Downey.
Anna Overland's two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth with one out pulled the Lutes to within 4-3. But Perez came on in relief and recorded five straight outs to preserve the win.