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April 6, 2012

Lutes Take Two Run-Rule Wins From Pacific

FOREST GROVE - Shaking off the effects of two disappointing home losses to No. 1-ranked Linfield last Sunday, Pacific Lutheran swept the Pacific Boxers in a Northwest Conference softball doubleheader played Friday at Sherman/Larkins Stadium.

The No. 6-ranked Lutes shut out the Boxers 8-0 in six innings in game one before polishing off a season sweep with an 11-2, 5-inning victory in game two. Both games ended early via the eight-run rule. With the victories, the Lutes improved to 16-4 in conference and 26-10 overall. The Boxers dropped to 6-14 and 8-20 with the losses.

In game one, starting pitcher Stacey Hagensen pitched six scoreless innings, allowing six hits and no walks with two strikeouts to get the win. Hagensen pitched out of jams in the first and sixth innings to notch her third shutout of the season.

With PLU holding a 1-0 lead, Kaaren Hatlen led off the fourth inning with a double down the right field line. Amanda Hall drove in pinch-runner Spencer Sherwin with a single to left to make it 2-0 Lutes. After a ground out, Lindsey Matsunaga singled and Glenelle Nitta was hit by a pitch to load the bases. After Haley Harshaw's ground out scored Lowery with the second run of the inning, Amanda Goings followed with a two-RBI single up the middle to open up a 5-0 lead for the visitors.

Hall drove in PLU's sixth run with a solo home run to center field in the fifth inning, then added her third RBI of the day with a single in the sixth, finishing 3-for-4 at the plate to lead the Lutes. Goings and Matsunaga each had a pair of hits and a run scored as the Lutes collected 13 hits off two Boxer pitchers.

The Lutes grabbed command of game two right away, scoring five runs in the first inning. After Goings reached on an error to lead off the game, Harshaw followed with a two-run home run off the top of the wall in right center field. Hall added an RBI double and Matsunaga drove her home with a solid single to right field, and later scoring on an infield single by Katie Lowery.

The Lutes racked up nine of their 12 hits in the first two innings, taking a 7-0 lead on Matsunaga's two-RBI single in the second inning.

Hatlen pitched all five innings with one strikeout and two bases on balls to get the pitching victory

Hall added two more hits and Hatlen reached base four times and scored three runs for the Lutes. Matsunaga drew a bases-loaded walk in the fourth inning, finishing 2-for-2 with three RBI and a run scored. Harshaw was 2-for-2 with two RBI and two runs sccored.

The Lutes return to conference action on Saturday when they play two games at Lewis & Clark.

- PLU -