Game 2 Box Score
LA VERNE, Calif. – Megan Wallo (Sr., Aloha, Ore.) spanked a double and her first career triple among her five total hits, and Karleigh Prestianni (Sr., Grants Pass, Ore.) drove in three runs to power the eighth-ranked Linfield Wildcats to a two-game sweep of the defensively challenged La Verne Leopards Wednesday afternoon at Wheeler Park.
Linfield won the opener 9-0 in six innings before capturing the nightcap 6-1. The Wildcats, playing in southern California for the first of three nonconference doubleheaders, improved to 15-4 for the season. La Verne, an annual contender from the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, dropped to 13-9.
After committing just 17 errors in their first 20 games, the Leopards were haunted by 10 miscues against the Wildcats, including six in Game 1.
Four Linfield pitchers combined to hold La Verne without an earned run, striking out 12 Leopards and walking four.
The top of the Linfield order paved the way to victory. Grace Middelstadt (Soph., Battle Ground, Wash.), Wallo and Prestianni, hitting 1-2-3 in the lineup, each collected a pair of hits and combined for five of the Wildcats’ nine runs scored.
Wildcats ace Karina Paavola (Jr., Kelso, Wash.) limited La Verne to one hit and two walks over the first four innings before turning the game over to freshman lefty Maddy Dunn (Fr., Lake Oswego, Ore.). Both pitchers recorded a pair of strikeouts while combining for Linfield’s seventh shutout of the season.
Propelled by RBI singles from Wallo, Prestianni and Haylie Watson (Jr., Puyallup, Wash.), the ‘Cats took a commanding 6-0 lead in the top of the third inning and never looked back.
Like the first game, Linfield opened up a sizable early lead then held firm in the late stages for a convincing win.
Turning in a virtuoso performance, Wallo went 3 for 4 with two extra-base hits, scored two runs and stole a base. Ashley Garcia (Jr., Beaverton, Ore.) launched her fourth home run of the season in the third inning, a two-run effort that pushed the ‘Cats in front 5-0.
Shelby VandeBergh (Jr., Beaverton, Ore.) improved to 7-2 in the pitching circle, tossing four strikeouts and scattering three hits across the first four innings. Montana McNealy (Soph., Aloha, Ore.) came on in relief to begin the fifth inning, striking out four of the 14 batters she faced.
NEXT: The Wildcats head to Thousand Oaks to face Cal Lutheran in a twinbill Thursday at 1 p.m.
5 hits, including first career triple
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