by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
NEWBERG, Ore. – The Linfield Wildcats took an early 3-0 lead and didn't look back, defeating the Whitworth Pirates in both teams' first game of the Northwest Conference tournament, which was hosted by George Fox.
The loss dropped the Bucs to 24-17 on the season, while the Wildcats moved to 33-8.
Makenna Clizer led Linfield offensively, going 2-3 with 1 run and 1 RBI. Michelle Silva led the Pirates with a 3-4 game and 1 run scored.
Linfield took the lead early with a three-run third inning. The Wildcats got on the board with a line-drive single from Cheyanne Fletcher and added another pair of runs on a double and sacrifice fly to take a 3-0 lead.
Natalie Edlin gave Whitworth its only run the next inning, singling home Silva with a line-drive up the middle. The Wildcats countered in the bottom of the frame with a run on Chelsea Horita's single to left-center.
After going down 4-1, the Pirates had opportunities to get back in the game, but bad luck and excellent Linfield defense ended both. In the fifth inning, the Bucs put runners on first and second with two outs, but Sara Gayer's line drive hit the runner on first to end the threat.
The Wildcats added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth inning on a home run from Darian Stedman.
Madelyn Carlson was hit with the loss for the Bucs, dropping her record to 16-8. Shelby Saylors earned the win for Linfield, making her 18-5 on the year. Ashley Trueblood entered in the fourth inning for the Bucs, tossing three innings of relief and allowing two runs.
Looking Ahead: The Bucs take on George Fox tomorrow morning at 11:00 a.m. in a loser-out contest on Saturday morning.