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PLU Sweeps Pacific, Opens NWC Perfect After Four

PARKLAND, Wash. - Stacey Hagensen picked up a victory in the opening game and a save in Sunday's second contest as Pacific Lutheran swept a Northwest Conference softball doubleheader from the Pacific Boxers at the PLU softball field.

The Lutes won the opener, 9-1 in six innings, and then held off the Boxers in the second contest, 10-5. With the wins, the Lutes improve to 4-0 in the conference and to 6-4 overall. Pacific is now 4-8 overall and 2-2 in the conference.

First Game - PLU 9, Pacific 1 (6 innings)

Hagensen threw a complete game four-hitter in the opener, improving her record to 3-3 by allowing one earned run while walking two and striking out seven.

Haley Harshaw and Hagensen, batting second and third in the PLU lineup, both had three hits and three runs batted in to lead PLU's 11-hit offense. Glenelle Nitta added a pair of hits, and for the second straight day Lindsey Matsunaga slugged a home run.

The Lutes broke a scoreless tie with four runs in the third inning. Nitta hit a single and Amanda Goings drew a walk to start the inning, and Harshaw plated both with a double. Hagensen followed with a home run over the centerfield fence, her third of the season.

PLU added two runs in each of the next two innings. With two outs and two in, Harshaw hit a run-scoring single to drive in Nitta, who was hit by a pitch, and Hagensen followed with another base hit to drive in Goings, who had walked. The following inning, Ami Gran drilled a pinch hit double in front of Matsunaga's two-run shot to right-centerfield, her second homer of the year.

The hosts scored the deciding run in the bottom of the sixth, loading the bases with no outs before Amanda Hall hit a line drive over the head of the right fielder for a game-winning single.

Pacific's lone run came in the top of the fifth inning when Jenny Yano led off with a single, stole second, and then scored on Becca Moen's base hit.

Shannon Miller took the loss for the Boxers, allowing six earned runs on six hits with four walks and no strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings. Yano finished up for Pacific, allowing three earned runs on five hits in 1 1/3 innings of work.

Second Game - PLU 10, Pacific 5

There was plenty of offense in the second game as the two teams combined for 15 runs and 22 hits.

Pacific rapped four hits to take a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Becca Moen and Jenna Stevens opened the frame with singles, and Moen came home on Lauren Tuey's sacrifice fly. Jordan Mittelsdorf drove in Stevens with a single to right field.

PLU got a run back in the second on Amanda Hall's home run over the centerfield fence, but Pacific scored a run without benefit of a hit to take a 3-1 advantage in the top of the fourth.

The Lutes finally broke through against Chelsey Chamberlain for five runs on five hits in the bottom of the fourth. Matsunaga was hit by a pitch, Nitta followed with a single, and Montessa Califano scored Matsunaga with a ground ball single through the right side of the infield. Gran followed with a base hit of her own to drive in Nitta, and after she moved to second on a wild pitch, she and Califano came in on Melissa Harrelson's single into centerfield. Harshaw finished the inning with a run-scoring double off the left field fence.

The Boxers pulled to within 6-5 with a pair of sixth-inning runs. Mittelsdorf hit a RBI single to drive in pinch runner Randee Layosa, and Ashley Billingsley followed with a base hit to score Tuey, who had reached on a single.

That's when Hagensen entered the game. With runners on first and second, she ended the rally with a strikeout, a sacrifice bunt and a fly out.

PLU put the game away with four runs on four hits in the bottom of the sixth. Hagensen drew a bases-loaded walk to score the first run, and Kaaren Hatlen hit a run-scoring grounder for the second tally. Hall finished her three-RBI game with a two-run single through the right side.

Pacific finished with 10 hits, including two apiece by Moen, Stevens, Mittelsdorf and Billingsley. The Lutes had 12 hits, with Harrelson, Harshaw and Hall getting a pair apiece.

Hatlen improved her record to 3-0 despite giving up five earned runs on seven hits in five innings. Hagensen's save was her first of the season.

Pacific Lutheran hosts Whitworth in a pair of conference doubleheaders starting at noon next Saturday and Sunday.

- PLU -