PLU Offense, Pitching and Defense = Two Big Wins
PARKLAND - Pacific Lutheran put it all together against visiting Whitworth on Saturday afternoon, rolling up 12-0 and 14-0 victories in a pair of five-inning Northwest Conference softball games played at the PLU field.
The Lutes had a total of 26 runs and 26 hits in eight innings of offense and allowed no runs and a total of nine hits in 10 innings of defense to improve to 8-4 overall and 6-0 in the conference. The Pirates are now 2-10 overall and 0-6 in the NWC.
First Game - PLU 12, Whitworth 0 (5 innings)
Stacey Hagensen improved her season record to 4-3 by allowing only five hits while striking out eight and not walking a batter in going the five-inning distance.
PLU scored five times with two outs in the first inning. Amanda Goings led off with a double and Haley Harshaw was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame, and both moved up on a double steal. With two outs, Amanda Hall drilled a double to drive in Goings and Harshaw, and Lowery followed with a majestic home run to straightaway left field. Nitta followed with a home run over the centerfield fence, and just like that the Lutes were on top 5-0.
Pacific Lutheran added three runs on just one hit in the third inning, loading the bases when Hall and Nitta were hit by pitches sandwiched around Lowery's single. All of the runners moved up a base on a wild pitch, accounting for the first run, and after a walk, pinch hitter Ami Gran was hit in the helmet to bring in the second run. Another pinch hitter, Katie Bologna, drew a bases-loaded walk for the final run of the frame.
The Lutes put the game on ice with four runs in the bottom of the fourth, highlighted by Matsunaga's third homer of the campaign, a three-run shot to left field. Montessa Califano followed with a triple to centerfield, and she scored on a ground out by Amanda Goings.
Whitworth's best chance to score came in the fifth when Jessica Ross led off with a single and later advanced to third on Sami Parr's infield base hit, but Hagensen kept the shutout by fanning Hanna Boyd to end the game.
PLU collected 11 hits in the game, including two apiece from the No. 6 through No. 9 hitters in the lineup - Lowery, Nitta, Matsunaga and Califano. Matsunaga led the way with three RBI, and both Hall and Lowery drove in two.
Parr led Whitworth's five-hit offense with a pair of singles. Pirates starting pitcher Riley Fritz took the loss after allowing five earned runs on six hits in one inning of work.
Game Two - PLU 14, Whitworth 0 (5 innings)
Karen Hatlen improved to 4-0, allowing only four hits and one walk while striking out seven in her five-inning complete game. She also played a big part of a 15-hit attack, finishing 3-for-4 with four runs batted in an two runs scored.
Hall, hitting behind Hatlen in the lineup, was 3-for-3 with a pair of runs batted in, and for the second straight game Matsunaga clubbed a three-run homer while going 2-for-2 with four total RBI.
Pacific Lutheran scored three runs on three hits and two Whitworth errors in the opening inning, with Hatlen, Hall and Matsunaga all collecting RBI singles in the frame.
The Lutes scored six runs on five hits in the second. Hatlen had a two-run single and Matsunaga ripped her three-run line drive homer over the left field fence to highlight the outburst. The sophomore shortstop from Kaneohe, Hawaii, finished the day 4-for-4 with two homers, seven RBI and two runs scored.
PLU added three more in the third and two in the fourth. In the third inning, Hagensen and Hall sandwiched run-scoring doubles around a RBI infield single by Hatlen. The fourth-inning runs came as a result of leadoff hits by Lowery and Shelby Hasse, who both scored on a throwing error.
Parr had her second consecutive two-hit game for the Pirates, who left a runner in scoring position in each of the first three innings. Ross was the losing pitcher, allowing eight runs, seven earned, on seven hits in 1 1/13 innings.
The teams complete their four-game NWC series with a Sunday doubleheader. First pitch is scheduled for noon.
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