Game 2 Box Score
FOREST GROVE, Ore. – Whether it was by one run or nine, the Linfield Wildcats had the Pacific Boxers’ number Sunday at Sherman/Larkins Stadium. The ninth-ranked Wildcats rode the pitching arm of Karina Paavola to a 1-0 shutout of the Boxers in the opener, then pounded Pacific with 10 hits in a 10-1 offensive showcase in the nightcap to complete a four-game season series sweep.
Linfield, the nine-time Northwest Conference champion, upped its season record to 13-4, moving to 10-2 in the conference. The ‘Cats enjoy a two-game lead in the standings after three weekends of league play. Pacific’s hopes of reaching the four-team NWC tournament were dealt a blow as the Boxers (11-13, 8-7 NWC) fell back to fifth place with the losses, a half game back of Whitworth.
Linfield scored the game’s lone run, unearned, in the top of the second inning. After Ashley Garcia singled and pinch runner Kristen Vroom (Jr., El Sobrante, Calif.) stole second, Katy Brosig reached safely after Boxers shortstop Ashley Mitchell mishandled the ball, allowing Vroom to score.
The rest of the game was a tug of war between starting pitchers Paavola and Pacific freshman Marissa Reichard, who combined for five hits, four walks and 11 strikeouts between them.
Paavola, who fanned six Boxers while scattering three hits, earned the win to improve her record to 6-1 for the season. Reichard, a lefty, was tagged with the loss, despite not allowing any earned runs.
Garcia and Karleigh Prestianni were credited with Linfield’s two hits in the game.
Lisa Yamamoto (Sr., Carson City, Nev.) swatted her third home run in two days and added a double to ignite the Linfield offense.
Wildcat pitchers Shelby VandeBergh and Montana McNealy (Sr., Aloha, Ore.) combined to hold the Boxers to four hits and one run. Each recorded a pair of strikeouts. VandeBergh collected the win, her fifth against just two defeats.
Prestianni and Yamamoto, batting third and fourth in the Linfield order, each went 3 for 3 while driving in four runs. Grace Middelstadt (Sr., Battle Ground, Wash.) added a hit and stole two bases. McNealy hit her first collegiate home run, a solo shot to lead off the Linfield sixth.
Linfield built a 6-0 lead after just 1½ innings and was not seriously threatened the rest of the way. And once the Wildcats poured on three more runs in the sixth, the game was halted by the eight-run rule.
COMING UP: Linfield steps out side the conference for a triad of doubleheaders in southern California during Spring Break. The Wildcats take on La Verne Wednesday, then head to Thousand Oaks to face Cal Lutheran on Thursday. The trip winds up with a twinbill at Chapman on Saturday.