Game 2 Box Score
SALEM, Ore. – Ashley Garcia (Jr., Beaverton, Ore.) and Haylie Watson (Jr., Puyallup, Wash.) each homered twice and No. 8 Linfield racked up 38 hits and 34 runs in a doubleheader spanking of Northwest Conference foe Willamette Wednesday afternoon at the WU diamond.
The scores were 16-5 and 18-3, both abbreviated to five innings by the eight-run rule. Lisa Yamamoto (Soph., Carson City, Nev.) and Karleigh Prestianni (Sr., Grants Pass, Ore.) also added home runs for the Wildcats, who amassed 62 total bases to the Bearcats’ 11.
With the road sweep, the Wildcats (24-5, 16-2 NWC) inched closer to securing the program’s 10th consecutive NWC title. The Bearcats saw their conference record dip below .500 to 8-10. WU is 12-16 overall.
The Wildcats scored in bunches in the early going, getting four runs in the first inning, three in the second then seven more in the third. Linfield opened up a seven-run advantage after an inning and a half before Willamette capitalized on four walks, two errors and a couple of hit batsmen to cut the margin to 7-5.
The Wildcats didn’t flinch. Linfield responded with 11 unanswered runs over the next three innings.
Prestianni gave the Wildcats their initial lead in the first with a single up the middle that scored Megan Wallo (Sr., Aloha, Ore.) from third base. Garcia then belted the first pitch she faced over the left-field fence, a three-run cannonball that put Linfield in control 4-0.
Three walks and two hit batters enabled Willamette to notch its first two runs. An error by shortstop Katy Brosig (Jr., Forest Grove, Ore.) as she attempted to field a hard-hit grounder by Snyder scored two more runs, slicing the Linfield lead to 7-4. Snyder then stole second, moved to third on another Wildcats’ miscue and scored unearned on the throw.
In the Linfield third, consecutive singles by McKenna Spieth (Soph., Vancouver, Wash.) and Grace Middelstadt (Soph., Battle Ground, Wash.) produced another run, giving the ‘Cats some breathing room. With the bases loaded and no outs, Prestianni delievered a two-run single and Yamamoto followed with a RBI double to right field. Watson got into the act, taking a full-count pitch and drilling it to center field to score two more runs. Once the dust settled, the Wildcats were back in command, 14-5.
Watson added a final exclamation point to the lopsided victory, clubbing a two-run homer in the fifth.
Middelstadt successfully laid down three hits in her three at bats and scored three times. Erin Carson (Soph., Camas, Wash.) also went 3 for 3, drove in a pair of runs, and reached home plate twice. Prestianni, Yamamoto, Watson, Brosig and Spieth all contributed a pair of hits to the Wildcats’ 18-hit avalanche.
Karina Paavola (Jr., Kelso, Wash.), the Wildcats starter, threw the game’s first three innings then turned it over to freshman reliever Maddy Dunn (Fr., Lake Oswego, Ore.). Paavola (13-2) struck out three Bearcats while giving up four walks and three hits. Dunn fanned four of the seven batters she faced, conceding a single hit and no walks.
Victoria Bradshaw, the WU starter, lasted just two innings. Allowing 10 hits, 11 runs and three walks, Bradshaw was tagged with the loss, falling to 4-4.
Four different Wildcats clobbered home runs – three consecutively in the first inning – and Linfield pummeled defenseless Willamette in the nightcap.
Pounding 10 hits on starter Hayley Glantz before the first three outs were recorded, the Wildcats led 12-0 after one-half inning. The scoring barrage included a three-run home run by Prestianni, the first of three successive home runs in the frame. Yamamoto went deep for her seventh home run and Garcia followed with her sixth round-trip shot of the season,.
After consecutive singles by Yamamoto, Garcia and Erin Carson (Soph., Camas, Wash.) that loaded the bases in the third inning, Watson launched a grand slam home run, extending the Linfield advantage to 16-0.
Willamette picked up a couple of inconsequential runs in the third, loading the bases by way of two hit batsmen and a walk. Erin Bueser’s single up the middle allowed Courtney Galli and McKenzie Wasley to score, averting a shutout.
Linfield parked runners at first and third with two outs in the fourth before Garcia and Rachelle Ridout (Sr., Montesano, Wash.) drove in two more runs.
Shelby VandeBergh (Jr., Beaverton, Ore.) pitched three innings to earn the victory. VandeBergh (11-2) struck out three and walked one Bearcat. Pitching the fourth and fifth frames, Montana McNealy (Soph., Aloha, Ore.) struck out three of the eight WU batters she faced in relief.
Middelstadt, Wallo and Yamamoto all enjoyed three-hit performances. Carson, Watson and Prestianni each had two hits, part of a season-high 20-hit output.
‘CAT SCRATCH: Carson went 5 for 5 with two doubles and three RBI on the day while Middelstadt was 6 for 7 with two stolen bases. . . Linfield has piled up 10 or more hits in each of its last four contests. . . the Wildcats have hit .300 or better in all but their first two games . . . the ‘Cats are averaging 8.0 runs per game. . . Prestianni’s 45 career home runs are the most of any active Division III player. . . Wednesday’s combined 26-run margin of victory was the largest by either team of any doubleheader in the series. . . Game 2's 15-run margin equaled the most lopsided outcome in history, that coming in a 15-0 Linfield rout on April 7, 1999.
COMING UP: Linfield visits George Fox Saturday and Sunday for a four-game series at Newberg’s Morse Complex. Doubleheaders both days start at noon.
Two home runs, 5 RBI
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