Review staff writer
With two wins each against both George Fox University and Lewis & Clark College, the softball team pushed its Northwest Conference record to 15-0 and 25-2 overall.
The team put up winning numbers against the Bruins on April 4 with wins of 17-0 and 12-1.
In both games, all starting players had at least one hit.
In game one, the ’Cats pounded 19 hits, including three apiece from junior first baseman Candice Fujino, sophomore centerfielder Natalie Taylor and freshman catcher Jordan Mixsell. The pitching staff allowed only two hits in the game.
Taylor, a first-year starter with the team, had seven runs batted in, including a three-run homerun and a three-run triple. Taylor said her work in practice showed this weekend.
“I’ve actually been concentrating more on my hitting recently and have changed a lot of techniques and small things,” Taylor said.
The second game was also no contest, as the ’Cats scored eight runs in the first two innings and never looked back.
Freshman shortstop Staci Doucette hit her sixth home run of the season, leading the team with three runs driven in.
Because of an injury suffered by junior right fielder Rochelle Friend in California, freshman Jaydee Baxter has come off the bench and filled without missing a beat. With her first starting action of the year, Baxter picked up eight hits and scored seven times.
“[Head coach Jackson Vaughan] seemed pretty confident in my abilities and that he noticed an improvement in the last couple weeks,” Baxter said.
The team won a 2-0 nail biter in the first game against the Pioneers.
The runs came after Baxter doubled in the sixth inning and scored on an error by the pitcher.
That was all junior pitcher Samantha Van Noy needed, as she only allowed four hits in seven strong innings while striking out five.
In the final game of the weekend, Linfield scored five times in the third inning on the way to an 8-1 victory. The team was led by Baxter’s three runs and three hits. Sophomore second baseman Alex Hartman also had three hits.
With the wins, Linfield moved from No 6 to No 3 in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association’s Division III rankings. Linfield received three first-place votes, which is as many as top-ranked Louisiana College earned.
Linfield continues league play with two home games, each against opponents they defeated earlier in the season: Pacific Lutheran University and University of Puget Sound. The PLU doubleheader starts at 4 p.m. April 10, and the UPS games begin at noon April 11.