Wildcats walk away with wins

The Wildcat softball team remains undefeated after another weekend of command performances.

Junior outfielder Jordan Mixsell said the team maintained a high level of play throughout the weekend.

“We did a good job of not letting up and getting the most out of every play — pitch or at bat,” she said.

In the weekend’s first doubleheader on March 5, the ’Cats took on the George Fox University Bruins. Senior pitcher Claire Velaski led the ’Cats to victory in the first game, recording her first no-hitter.

Juniors catcher Emilee Lepp and first baseman Staci Doucette each hit three-run home runs to lead the offense in the 12-0 thrashing.

The ’Cats held the Bruins scoreless again in the second game of the day, which ended 11-0. Junior pitcher Lauren Harvey picked up the win and was aided by the relief of senior pitcher Elise Karscig.

Several players had multiple hits and RBIs to boost the offense. Lepp, senior shortstop Emily Keagbine and sophomore third baseman Karleigh Prestianni each hit home runs.

Junior outfielder Jaydee Baxter complimented every contribution to the wins.

“It was a good overall team effort. Even though everyone’s hitting wasn’t at 100 percent, we managed to score quite a few runs,” she said. “We are a really well-rounded team. We work hard, and we also have a lot of natural talent.”

The weekend’s second doubleheader on March 6 saw the ’Cats blow out Lewis & Clark College 12-4 and 20-1. The games featured impressive offensive performances from the ’Cats’ experienced line-up.

In both games combined, Keagbine racked up nine RBIs on 8-for-8 hitting, three of which were home runs, and senior outfielder Kayla Hubrich went 7-for-8 on the day, scoring six times.

Three players, including Prestianni, senior second baseman Alex Hartmann and freshman third baseman Ashley Garcia, added three runs each to Keagbine and Hubrich’s combined 10 in the second game.

Baxter also had a solid day, contributing seven RBIs from five hits over the two games.

All seven of the ’Cats’ pitchers saw action in either the first or second game. Velaski and freshman pitcher Hannah Muller held the Pioneers scoreless, each pitching two innings. Karscig finished up the last inning of the game, allowing four runs.

Freshman pitcher Karina Paavola picked up her first collegiate win in the second game, giving up only one run in two innings pitched. Harvey and freshmen pitchers Kim Chase and Shelby VandeBergh each added one inning of shutout pitching.

Paavola said she was excited to get the win and was impressed by Keagbine’s and Hubrich’s offensive performances. She also credited the team’s chemistry.

“[It] makes it easy to work together, relax and just play,” Paavola said.

Inclement weather postponed the ’Cats’ doubleheader, which was slated for March 9, against Concordia University.

Baxter said the team uses rough weather to gain strength.

“It makes us mentally tough, and we learn how to deal with adversity,”she said.

The ’Cats are scheduled to travel to Tacoma, Wash., this weekend to take on Pacific Lutheran University on March 12 and the University of Puget Sound on March 13. Both doubleheaders are scheduled to start at noon.

Rae Smith/Staff reporter
Rae Smith can be reached at linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.

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