Written by Student Assistant Jake Bilyeu
SALEM, Ore. – The Pacific Lutheran University softball squad struggled on the second day of its four-game series with Willamette University, dropping two games on Monday afternoon. The Lutes fell 11-3 in game one before suffering a 5-4 heartbreaker in the Northwest Conference series finale.
The Lutes (13-7, 9-5 NWC) came out strong early in the opening game. After surrendering an early run to the Bearcats (4-7, 4-5 NWC), Jessica Alcomendas, Emily McConnell, and Becca Sorensen each drove in a run in the second inning, and the Lutes took a 3-1 lead. However, the Bearcats responded with six runs in the third inning before piling on one more in the fourth and two more in the fifth to enact the mercy rule.
The Lutes again used a strong second inning to take an early lead in their second contest of the afternoon, as Jessica Alcomendas blasted a three-run home run. The Bearcats knotted things up in the fourth, but the Lutes promptly regained the lead on a single from Anna Overland in the next inning. Still, the Bearcats would have the last laugh, as they scored two runs in the seventh inning to walk-off with a win.
"We did not play our best softball today and we will head back into the week with things to work on," head coach Brandi Gordon Bennett said. "Our pitchers still need to not give away free bases, and most of our hitters did not make adjustments at the plate like we needed to."
The Lutes, who dropped to fourth place in the NWC standings, now have some extra time off to return home and work out their game. They'll return to the field on March 30, where they'll host Pacific University to finish off their season series with the Boxers at 2 p.m.
"We will take this break to get lots of great reps, fine tune some things and come out rested and fired up for our return to conference play next week," Gordon Bennett said.