Softball warms up weekend but ends with a loss

It was a winning week for the Linfield softball team as they defeated Pacific University Boxers four times with scores 5-4, 3-2, 10-1 and 7-2.

Their first two games took place at home on  March 12 as a make-up for the games they didn’t play in the pre-season due to rainy weather. In the first game, the Wildcats made an exciting comeback in the bottom of the third inning after being down three runs to the Boxers. With RBI’s from third baseman senior Ashley Garcia, designated hitter freshman Erin Kinney and first baseman senior Haylie Watson. It was evident that the ’Cats were beginning to find their game again with a tied score of 3-3. The ’Cats last two runs came in the bottom of the fifth with a home run by Kinney and an unearned run in the bottom of the eighth by junior right fielder Erin Carson.

The second game against the Boxers was another exciting one with the ’Cats scoring in the bottom of the first and bottom of the second. However, Pacific responded in the top of the fourth and sixth inning as the score was tied 2-2. The ’Cats would come up clutch again in the bottom of the sixth with an RBI credited to Garcia.

“With five starting seniors, we have a lot of leadership and experience on the field,” Garcia said. “But the younger players are making a huge impact on the team. This weekend, we get to face Pacific again and these are huge games when it comes to clinching another conference title. As seen tonight, Pacific always brings their best game, so we are looking forward to potentially having two more exciting games.”

However, the Wildcat softball team swept the plate on March 15 with scores 10-1 and 7-2. In the fourth inning, the Wildcats brought in seven runs with RBI’s credited to Carson, Kinney, junior catcher McKenna Spieth, Garcia, and freshman left fielder Danielle Duman. With no response by the Boxers, the ’Cats scored three more runs with an RBI from Spieth and two RBI’s from Brosig. The second game was no different with a score of 7-2, ’Cats. The Wildcats started strong in the first inning with runs from Yamamoto, Duman, and Carson. The next three runs would come from Spieth, and Brosig in the top of the third. Pacific responded with two runs, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the strong pitching from senior Karina Paavola.

“We all share this love for the game and desire to become the best players we are capable of becoming,” said freshman second baseman McKenzie Schmoll. “We put complete faith in each other, and we are always prepared to pick each other up if need be.”

The Wildcats had two more games to complete on March 16 against the George Fox University Bruins. This was no easy task. With both games going into the 10th inning, it was evident that the ’Cats would need their best game. After taking a hard loss to the Bruins in the first game losing 2-0, the Wildcats responded strong with a clutch run in the bottom of the 10th inning with RBI credited to Schmoll.

The next appearance by the Wildcats will be during Spring Break as the ’Cats Women’s Softball team heads to Texas for competition. As they begin to hit the meat of their season, there is no doubt that the ’Cats will continue to progress and compete in hopes of returning to the NCAA Regional Championships.

Casie Gaza/Senior sports reporter

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Senior Karina Paavola pitches during the second game against the Bruins where the Wildcats lost 1-0.

Spencer Beck/Staff Photographer

Senior Katy Brosig waits for the Bruin player to hit the ball in one of the back-to-back games against George Fox University.

Spencer Beck/Staff Photographer

Freshmen Danielle Duman waits for the incoming ball while being outfield during the two games on March 16 against George Fox University.

Spencer Beck/Staff Photographer