McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Whitworth bounced back from a poor showing in Saturday's winners' bracket game against Linfield to earn a rematch with the Wildcats by defeating George Fox 6-0 in a loser-out contest at the Northwest Conference softball tournament.
The Pirates (31-10) will take on the Wildcats (34-6-1) beginning at 2:00 pm on Sunday. Whitworth must defeat the Wildcats twice to win the tournament and claim the NWC's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III playoffs.
Game 1 – Linfield 11, Whitworth 1 (5 innings)
Michelle Silva's solo home run in the fifth inning was the only offense the Pirates could muster against Shelby Saylors on Saturday. It was Whitworth's only hit of the game as Saylors improved to 19-4 this season for Linfield.
The Wildcats scored four in the first and three more in the third to break the game open. Abi Proffitt homered for Linfield, while leadoff hitter Maddy Colson went 3-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Kelsey Wilkinson and Darian Stedman also drove in a pair of runs for the Wildcats. Linfield had 14 hits in the game.
Schwaier-Wolf gave up three hits in the first inning, but no runs scored after Kaylie Lowery's throw from left field was relayed home by shortstop Sara Gayer so Thomas could apply a tag on Kimi Ito, who had led off the game with a double.
Whitworth responded with a run in each of the first two innings to take the lead. Kinsey McNaught doubled in the first run and Thomas led off the second with her 12th home run of the season.
The Pirates doubled the lead with two runs in the third. Michelle Silva's two-out single drove in Rheanne Lewis and Silva moved to second after an error in the outfield. Thomas followed with a single that scored Silva.
Meanwhile, after the rocky first inning, Schwaier-Wolf settled down and did not allow a single GFU baserunner from the second through the fifth innings. After a walk and single gave the Bruins two base runners in the sixth, Schwaier-Wolf got a pop up and ground out to end the threat.
Whitworth broke open the game in the sixth. Radke hit her third homer of the season with one out. Desi Graham followed with a triple to right and she scored on Lowery's single.
George Fox finally scored in the seventh on Katie Ladd's pinch-hit, two-run home run.
Schwaier-Wolf (19-3) allowed six hits and two runs in the complete game. She struck out seven and walked one.
Thomas, Radke and Lowery all had two hits apiece for the Pirates.
Winter Ridgeway (11-6) started in the circle for George Fox. She took the loss after allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits in 2.2 innings. Caitlyn Rhodes (two runs, five hits) followed with 2.2 innings of work in relief. Sarah Storton finished up for the Bruins.