Freshmen Propel Pirates to Sweep

Courtesy of ETBU Athletics
Courtesy of ETBU Athletics

by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant 

TUSCON, Ariz. – Kaylie Lowery singled in the game-winning run in game one and Madelyn Carlson tossed seven shutout innings in game two to give the Whitworth Pirates a Saturday morning sweep of Birmingham Southern and Wittenberg.

The sweep bumped the Bucs record up to 6-6 overall while Wittenberg dropped to 1-2 and Birmingham Southern fell to 8-6.

Game 1: Whitworth 7, Birmingham Southern 6 (8 innings)

The Pirates used a six-run fourth inning and Lowery's walk-off single to defeat Birmingham Southern. 

The Panthers took the game's first lead on a fourth-inning single from Abby Spencer, setting the Bucs in a 1-0 deficit heading into the bottom of the fourth. 

Whitworth responded with six runs of their own, taking a commanding lead. Sara Gayer started the rally with a walk before back-to-back singles from Kelsey Downey and Michelle Silva loaded the bases for Logan Miller. The sophomore drove in a pair of runs with a double to left field, giving Whitworth the lead. 

The Pirates piled on four more runs on RBIs from Allie Rude, Desi Graham, Lowery, and Chelsey Hayes to earn a 6-1 advantage at the end of the inning. 

Birmingham Southern refused to go away, however, chipping away at their deficit with four runs in the top of the sixth inning and another in the top of the seventh to tie the game.

The two teams went to an international tiebreaker in the eighth inning, placing a runner on second to begin each frame. Carlson held the Panthers scoreless in the top of the inning, which gave Lowery a chance to win the game in the bottom of the eighth. 

As the last out of the seventh inning, Rheanne Lewis started the eighth on second. Lewis stole third base and scored when Lowery singled to left-center field to win the game. 

Game 2: Whitworth 1, Wittenberg 0 

The Pirates won their third-straight one-run game against Wittenberg, defeating the Tigers behind a shutout from Carlson. 

The freshman pitcher tossed seven shutout innings, allowing five hits and striking out four Wittenberg batters. Carlson walked just two batters and earned her sixth win of the year.

Whitworth's offense ensured Carlson had just enough offense to get the win. The Bucs scored their lone run in the fourth inning when Miller's sacrifice fly drove in Gayer, who had reached on an error earlier in the inning.

Wittenberg managed to get runners on the base paths just twice after Miller's RBI, but their only chance to tie the game was cut down at the plate by Kinsey McNaught in the sixth inning.

Up Next: The Pirates close out their time in Arizona with another doubleheader tomorrow afternoon. Whitworth takes on Coe at 2:00 p.m. and Central (IA) at 3:30 p.m.