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Bruins Make it Tough, But PLU Softball Prevails

Amanda Hall

NEWBERG, Ore. - Pacific Lutheran, a newly minted member of the Division III Top 25 national poll at the No. 7 position, found a target on its back on Saturday but still came out on top with a Northwest Conference doubleheader sweep of the host George Fox Bruins.

Game scores were 7-2 and 3-2 in favor of the Lutes, who held their grip on first place in the conference standings with a 13-1 record. They are now 15-5 overall this season. The much-improved Bruins are 6-5 in the conference and 11-10 overall.

Stacey Hagensen was the winning pitcher in the first game and helped her own cause with a double and home run, her fourth of the season. The Lutes banged out a total of 11 hits and led the game by a 7-0 score before the Bruins got on the board.

Montessa Califano, Hagensen, Kaaren Hatlen, Amanda Hall and Lindsey Matsunaga, batting in the 2 through 6 positions, all had a pair of hits, with Matsunaga collecting two doubles.

The Lutes had to rally in the top of the seventh inning to win the second game. Trailing 1-0 after managing just two hits through the first six innings, PLU got things going when Hagensen and Hatlen both hit singles and Hall followed by drawing a walk to load the bases. Two runs scored when the left fielder misplayed a ball hit by Lindsey Matsunaga, and the final run came across when Glenelle Nitta reached on a fielder's choice.

Things got a little tight for the Lutes in the bottom of the seventh as George Fox scored one run on two hits and left the tying run on second base.

Hagensen entered the game with one out in the seventh and got the final two outs to collect the save in support of winning pitcher Hatlen.

The two teams complete their four-game conference series with another doubleheader starting at noon on Sunday.

- PLU -