Game 2 Box Score
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Smashing five home runs while piling up 22 hits, the No. 1-ranked Linfield Wildcats captured both ends of a nonconference doubleheader from host California Lutheran Tuesday afternoon at Hutton Field.
The Wildcats (17-2) won the relatively quiet opener 3-0 before erupting for a 15-1 rout of the Regals (7-16) in the nightcap that was shortened to five innings by the eight-run rule.
Karina Paavola (Jr., Kelso, Wash.) and Claire Velaski combined to pitch a two-hitter, striking out nine Regal batters. Paavola drew the starting assignment, fanning six across the first five innings to improve to 4-1. Velaski picked up her first save of the year, holding CLU without a hit while striking out three in the final two stanzas.
The game remained scoreless until the fourth inning, when Staci Doucette hammered a two-run homer over the center field wall. For Doucette, it was her eighth home run of the season and 40th of her career.
The Wildcats added an insurance run in the seventh. Alex Hartmann, recently anointed as the school’s career doubles leader, connected on a two-bagger to lead off the top of the inning. Sami Keim sacrificed Hartmann to third, before Kayla Hubrich tapped an RBI single to make it 3-0 in favor of the visitors.
Hubrich went 2-for-4, Doucette was 1-for-2 with a walk.
Stepping up their offensive production, the Wildcats scored multiple runs in each of the game’s five innings. Linfield pounced on Cal Lutheran starting pitcher Katelyn Downing for six hits and six earned runs before the game was even 15 minutes old.
Jaydee Baxter began the hit parade with a solo home run in the game’s second at-bat and the Wildcats led 2-0 after the first inning. Things really unraveled for the Regals in the second. After issuing successive walks, Downing loaded the bases to begin the frame, then Baxter sent all three runners home with a double to left field. Emilee Lepp came in and drilled another double, scoring Baxter.
Cal Lutheran scored its lone run in the bottom of the second on a RBI single by Courtney Minton but the Wildcats answered with two more runs in the third, including a two-run homer by Jordan Mixsell, the first of her career.
Lepp led off the fifth with a solo home run and Karleigh Prestianni (Sr., Grants Pass, Ore.) soon followed with a three-run blast over the left field wall, her fifth.
The Wildcats substituted liberally in the fifth to close out the sweep of the Regals.
Lauren Harvey, who pitched two innings in relief of Velaski, earned the win to improve to 5-0. Shelby VandeBergh (Jr., Beaverton, Ore.) pitched the final inning for the ‘Cats. Together, the three Linfield hurlers limited CLU to three hits and issued no walks.
Baxter finished 3-for-4 with four RBIs and three runs scored, Ashley Garcia (Jr., Beaverton, Ore.) was 3-for-3 and scored twice. Lepp and Keagbine also contributed multiple hits in the game.
Lepp and Doucette each extended their current hitting streaks to 10 games.
NEXT: Linfield wraps up its 12-game Southern California adventure with a doubleheader Wednesday at Whittier College. The Wildcats play at home Saturday to resume Northwest Conference play against George Fox. Linfield also hosts Lewis & Clark Sunday. Both twinbills start at noon.
First career home run
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