Lutes Rally in Second Game to Sweep Pioneers
PARKLAND, Wash. - Pacific Lutheran scored six runs in the bottom of the sixth inning of the second game to rally for a 9-6 victory on the way to a Northwest Conference softball doubleheader sweep of the visiting Lewis & Clark Pioneers on Sunday afternoon. The Lutes won the opener, 8-1.
Lewis & Clark (3-30, 0-24) was within six outs of its first conference victory of the season before the Lutes put together their six-run rally on six hits and a pair of walks. Glenelle Nitta led off with a walk and Montessa Califano hit a single to start the winning rally. Amber Roberts ripped a double to drive in the first two runs, and she scored on Stacey Hagensen's one-out single. After a walk, Katie Hanten hit a single to drive in Hagensen with the go-ahead run. With two out, Lauren Watson and Nitta hit run-scoring singles to make the score 9-6.
Ramona Lorton, who entered the game in the fifth inning, retired the Pioneers in order in the seventh to earn the victory, her ninth of the season against four defeats.
PLU (19-11, 13-7) took a 3-0 lead in the first when Hagensen hit a single to drive in Roberts, who led off with a single and then stole second and third. Hagensen scored on the back end of a double steal, and pinch runner Ally VanSchoorl scored on Aubree Pocklington's RBI groundout.
The Pios rallied to take the lead with single runs in the third and fourth and two more runs in the fifth. Jamie Moon hit a run-scoring double in the third and Megan Andre's grounder drove in the tally in the fourth. The Pioneers took a 4-3 lead in the fifth inning when Jet'aime Mullins scored on an error, followed by a RBI single by Danielle Blechert.
The Pioneers added a pair of two-out runs in the sixth inning on RBI singles by Moon and Caroline DeVincenzi.
That set the stage for PLU's big rally against Pioneers pitcher Kristin Breninger, who allowed nine earned runs in taking the loss.
Lewis & Clark finished the game with 10 hits, including three by Jet'aime Mullins, who also scored three runs, and two each my Moon and Jessica Mullins. The Lutes had 14 hits, three by Roberts and two each by Hagensen, Dena Harkovitch, Watson and Califano. Harkovitch, one of two seniors on the PLU team, was a combined 4-for-4 in her only plate appearances of the season after missing the rest of the season because of a hip injury. She will undergo hip surgery this coming week.
The first game was not in doubt after the Lutes scored three runs in each of the first two innings. Roberts set the tone early, leading off with a single, stealing second and third base and scoring on Caitlyn Brown's sacrifice fly. After Hagensen and Harkovitch hit singles, Watson drove in two more with a base hit.
In the second, Roberts hit a single, stole second and eventually scored on Hagensen's ground out. Brown, who reached on a single, scored on Kaaren Hatlen's base hit, and Hatlen came in when Watson's single was misplayed in left field.
PLU added a run in the fourth on Harkovitch's RBI single and one more in the sixth when Shelby Johnston hit a two-out single and scored on Watson's double.
Lewis & Clark scored its lone run in the sixth when Moon hit a double and came in on Blechert's base hit.
The Lutes had 12 hits, including three by Watson and two each by Roberts and Harkovitch, against three Pioneers pitchers. Paige McFeeley took the loss for the visitors. Lewis & Clark had six hits, two each by Moon and Blechert, against PLU winner Jackie Martinez, who went the seven-inning distance to improve her record to 3-2.
Pacific Lutheran returns to action at 6 p.m. Thursday when it makes up an earlier rained-out doubleheader against the Pacific Boxers in Forest Grove, Ore.
- PLU -