Game 2 Box Score
Single-Season Record Book
SALEM, Ore. – Emilee Lepp smacked three home runs, including a record-breaking cannonball in the opener, and her Linfield teammates accounted for four more fence-clearing blasts as the No. 1-ranked Wildcats shot down Willamette 8-5 and 9-3 Sunday at the WU diamond to complete a four-game Northwest Conference sweep.
Lepp’s first homer of the day was of particular significance. The Wildcats junior broke the Linfield single-season record of 20 set last season by two-time All-American Staci Doucette.
Individual statistics aside, the road sweep of Willamette moved the Wildcats closer to clinching the program’s eighth consecutive NWC title. The NWC’s regular season champion earns the right to host the first-annual four-team conference tournament, slated for April 22-23.
With five conference games remaining, Linfield stands within two victories of clinching the regular season title. The ‘Cats (33-2, 22-1 NWC) are also in position to equal the program’s record for fewest NWC losses (1), set last season when the 2010 club finish 27-1 in league play.
Willamette evened its record at 16-16 while falling to 13-11 in the NWC.
Lepp, Doucette and Emily Keagbine all homered as the Wildcats pulled away from an early 1-all standoff.
Jaydee Baxter connected on a two-run double to center field in the third inning, and Lepp followed it up with a long ball over the left-center field fence that cleared the bases. Moments later, Doucette scorched WU pitcher Bri Compton for yet another home run to put the Wildcats squarely in control at 6-1.
Claire Velaski and Karina Paavola (Jr., Kelso, Wash.) combined for a four-hit victory. Velaski was the pitcher of record, moving to 15-1 for the season.
Doucette went 3-for-4 while Keagbine added a pair of hits for the Wildcats, who outhit the hosts 10-4.
Outfielder Jordan Mixsell broke out of a hitting slump in a big way, going 3-for-4 at the plate, including a two-run home run in the fourth inning that put the Wildcats in front 3-0. The banner day for Mixsell ended a harsh six-game hitless streak for the Wildcats junior.
Leading 5-1 going into the top of the seventh inning, the Linfield bats came fully uncorked. Lepp launched her third home run of the day to lead off the inning, then Keagbine followed it up with a three-run homer, her 12th of the season.
Lauren Harvey earned the complete-game victory to lift her season record to a spotless 10-0. She handcuffed the Bearcats to just three hits and a pair of walks.
Keagbine went 3-for-4 while Lepp finished 2-for-4. Both Wildcats drove in three runs. Alex Hartmann was also 2-for-4.
‘CAT SCRATCH: Lepp’s season home runs total of 23 now sits within two of breaking the NCAA Division III standard of 24, set in 2002 over 48 games by Mandy Carnes of Muskingum. A year after setting the current record, Carnes set the Division III career mark of 59 homers in 198 games. Doucette is Linfield’s current career leader with 48 home runs while Lepp now has amassed 45, both coming in 129 games…Linfield’s season home run total of 74 is nearing the Wildcats’ own one-year school and NCAA record of 78 set last season.
AHEAD: Linfield is scheduled to make up a previously postponed game at Puget Sound, the fourth game of the four-game series, Tuesday at 4 p.m. on the UPS diamond. Linfield then completes its NWC slate with a four-game set Saturday and Sunday at Pacific. Doubleheaders both days start at noon.
Approaching NCAA single-season home runs record
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128