Game 2 Box Score
NWC Tournament Website
McMINNVILLE, Ore. – The No. 1 Linfield Wildcats matched a school record with a 27-1 mark in Northwest Conference action and set another record for longest winning streak with a sweep of visiting Pacific in the final regular season games for both clubs Sunday afternoon at the Linfield softball field.
The ‘Cats (38-2, 27-1 NWC), winners of 27 straight games, earned the season sweep of the Boxers (22-18, 12-16 NWC) with a 9-4 win in the first half of the doubleheader and 8-0 victory in a shortened six-inning second game.
Emilee Lepp continued her historic season, smacking her 25th home run of the year in the first game to break the NCAA Division III single-season record set by Mandy Carnes of Muskingum in 2002.
In the nightcap, seldom-used senior Elise Karscig put on an inspiring performance on Senior Day, pitching a complete-game shutout in only her seventh career appearance on the mound.
Linfield struck first in the bottom of the second inning with a single score and then exploded for five runs in the third, including Lepp’s record-breaking home run. The history-maker was a three-run shot that also scored senior baserunners Emily Keagbine and Kayla Hubrich.
The ‘Cats added to their lead later in the same inning when two runners scored on a Jordan Mixsell fly out.
Facing an 8-0 deficit at the top of the fifth, the Boxers rallied to extend the game thanks to a two-run single by Jenna Stevens.
Pacific would score twice more in the top of the sixth on a double by Ashley Billingsley and a single by Stephanie Vanoudenhaeg. Both plays scored one run each.
But the Linfield defense held strong, helping starting pitcher Claire Velaski earn her 17th win of the season. Despite giving up 13 hits, the senior ace retired six batters and was only charged with two earned runs.
Lepp finished the game hitting 2-for-4 with three RBI, all coming off her home run. Staci Doucette went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI.
Karscig was the heroine of the second game, pitching a shutout in just her first career start. She gave up three hits while striking out two batters in six complete innings of work for the home team.
The ‘Cats did their most damage offensively in the third and sixth frames. After Karleigh Prestianni scored on a walk with the bases loaded, Alex Hartmann doubled to right field to score two of her teammates.
Two more runs came in the bottom of the sixth. Lepp hit a single to left field, bringing home a pair of runners. Two batters later, Prestianni provided the game-winning double, scoring Lepp from second.
Seven different players registered hits for the ‘Cats. Lepp and Hubrich both went 2-for-4 and Hartman was 2-for-3 with two RBI.
The doubleheader marked the final regular season home games for five Wildcat seniors: Hartmann, Hubrich, Karscig, Keagbine and Velaski.
NEXT: The ‘Cats host the Northwest Conference tournament Friday and Saturday. Linfield, the No. 1 seed, plays Willamette Friday at 11 a.m.
Game-winning double in Game 2
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128