Game 2 Box Score
McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Scoring 23 runs while giving up just one, defending NCAA champion Linfield delivered a fatal blow to yet another Northwest Conference foe, steamrolling Puget Sound, 15-1 and 8-0, in two run-rule shortened games Saturday afternoon at Del Smith Stadium.
Four Wildcat pitchers shared 10 innings of action, striking out 21 of 35 possible batters. Combined, they allowed a miserly five hits and no walks.
Linfield sluggers Staci Doucette, Karleigh Prestianni and Haylie Watson (Sr., Puyallup, Wash.) took turns clearing the outfield fence and the Wildcats jumped on UPS for six extra-base hits and nine stolen bases.
The top-ranked Wildcats improved to 12-0 for the season, 10-0 in the NWC. Puget Sound dipped to 2-8 both overall and in conference play.
Plating 12 of their 15 runs with two outs on the scoreboard in the second inning, the Wildcats made easy work of the Loggers in the opener.
Emilee Lepp went 2-for-4 with a triple and four RBI, shortstop Lisa Bennett tapped a pair of run-scoring singles in her first career start, and Jaydee Baxter went 2-for-2 with two RBI and a stolen base to pace a 12-hit attack.
The Loggers found themselves buried under a 12-run avalanche in the second inning as the Wildcats cashed in six hits and a couple of errors to take the commanding lead.
Prestianni smacked her fourth home run of the season to highlight the double-digit inning.
Wildcats starter Lauren Harvey threw three shutout innings before turning the game over to Montana McNealy (Jr., Aloha, Ore.) for the final two frames. The two pitchers gave up a couple of hits each and together combined for 10 strikeouts, six by Harvey, who improved to 6-0 for the season.
The Loggers picked up their lone run in the fourth inning when Aryn Grause hit a double of McNealy and scored on Elayna Van Hess’ RBI double moments later.
Doucette clobbered a grand slam in the game’s opening minutes, part of a six-run first inning for the ‘Cats.
Doucette later doubled and finished with five RBI, Watson homered and added three RBI to her season total, and four Wildcats snatched stolen bases in the contest.
Van Hess (1-4) started the game but lasted just one inning, giving up six runs, including five earned. Joleen Monfiletto tossed the final three innings, giving up three hits, two runs and a walk.
'CAT SCRATCH: Lepp hit two triples on Saturday, raising her season total to four. . . the Linfield single-season triples record is seven shared by Traci Barnes (1992) and Meredith Brunette (2008). . . Doucette's grand slam was the senior All-American's 59th career home run. . . Sunday's opponent, Pacific Lutheran, was the most recent conference opponent to defeat the Wildcats, taking a 10-2 victory on March 12, 2011. . . the Wildcats' 12-0 start is the second-hottest start to a season in program history behind the 2009 team's 15-0 season-opening spurt.
AHEAD: Linfield hosts Pacific Lutheran (11-5, 9-1 NWC) in a key conference twinbill Sunday at Del Smith Stadium. Game 1 starts at noon with the live internet play-by-play coverage starting at 11:50 a.m.
Grand slam homer in Game 2
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