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Lutes Shut Out Loggers to End Regular Season

Katie Lowery

PARKLAND - A trio of Pacific Lutheran pitchers combined to allow only seven hits and no runs on Sunday afternoon as the Lutes swepts the visiting Puget Sound Loggers, 8-0 in five innings and 6-0, in Northwest Conference softball action at the PLU field.

With the wins, the fifth-ranked Lutes close out the regular season with a 34-10 overall record and a 24-4 mark in the conference. PLU qualifies for next weekend's NWC postseason tournament at the No. 2 seed after finishing one game behind regular season champion and defending national champion Linfield. The other two tournament teams are No. 3 Willamette and No. 4 George Fox.

Puget Sound ends its season 3-31 overall and 3-25 in the conference.

Stacey Hagensen improved her season record to 18-5 with a complete-game three-hitter in PLU's game one victory. She didn't walk a batter and struck out three.

The Lutes got on the board early on Kaaren Hatlen's two-run double in the first inning, and they added three more runs in the second on no hits, two Puget Sound errors, a hit batter and a walk. The game's final three runs came in the bottom of the fourth on Kylee Oshiro's two-run double and Katie Lowery's RBI single.

PLU finished the game with seven hits, led by Lowery with two.

Puget Sound's best scoring opportunity came in the second inning when an error and back-to-back base hits by Amy Schmeckpepper and Elayna Van Ness loaded the bases, but Hagensen got out of the jam by inducing a ground out. Schmeckpepper had two of her team's three hits.

Hatlen and Leah Butters combined on the second game shutout. Hatlen earned the win to improve her record to 12-2, allowing four hits while walking one and fanning three. Butters did not allow a hit in three innings to earn a save.

The Lutes scored three runs in the first inning on only one hit, Lowery's two-run single through the left side of the infield. Hagensen drove in the first run with a fielder's choice ground ball. Pacific Lutheran added a run in the second on a bases-loaded walk to Hatlen, and it added single tallies in the fifth and sixth innings. In the fifth, Lindsey Matsunaga led off with a double and later scored on an error, and in the sixth Ami Gran and Lowery hit consecutive doubles for the game's final tally.

Lowery had three hits and three RBI and Montessa Califano added two singles to lead the Lutes, who finished with eight hits.

- PLU -