Sports & Outdoors

Dropping the ball

While most of the campus was enjoying spring break, the Loggers women’s softball team completed a rigorous road-trip.

After being swept at home by conference rival George Fox in four games over the weekend of March 3-4, the Loggers wanted to gain momentum as they set out on the road. Their first test came on Saturday, March 10 in a double-header against defending conference champion Linfield.

Unfortunately, the Loggers lost control of both games early on and never had the chance to recover. In the first game, Linfield broke open a scoreless game by scoring twelve runs in the bottom of the second inning, en route to a 15-1 victory that was called after the fifth inning.

The Loggers fared little better in the second half of the double-header, giving up six runs in the bottom of the first inning and failing to respond, eventually losing 8-0 in a game that also fell victim to the mercy rule in the fifth inning.

The Loggers failed to redeem themselves in their next match-up, as they traveled to Southern California to take on Chapman University in another double-header on Tuesday, March 13.

In the first game, the Panthers jumped on the Loggers early, scoring two runs in the first inning to put the Loggers in a hole right away. The Loggers’ best chance at scoring came in the top of the second inning when junior Brianna Huber (Chico, Calif.) opened the inning by reaching a base on a fielding error.

Following a subsequent single by senior Elayna Van Hess, the Loggers had runners on second and third with no outs. Unfortunately, the Loggers finished the inning empty-handed, as two strikeouts and a line out to the catcher ended the inning without any runs for the Loggers.

Chapman responded by scoring three more runs in the bottom of the inning and eventually cruised to a 7-0 victory.

The second game proved to be more of the same, as the Loggers yielded four runs in a sloppy first inning, ultimately losing 13-0. The Loggers managed only three hits in the game, two of which came from sophomore right fielder Jenica Holt (Pleasanton, Calif.).

The Loggers had very little time to lick their wounds after their double-header, as they travelled to Cal Lutheran on Wednesday, Mar. 14 for another double-header. This time around, however, the Loggers scored first.

Senior Chrissy Atterson (Marysville, Wash.) hit a double which sent junior Tahni Arndt (Tacoma, Wash.) home, giving the Loggers their first lead of the road trip. Holding onto a 3-1 advantage going bottom of the seventh and final inning, the Loggers could not hang on to secure the victory. Van Hess, the starting pitcher for the game, recorded only one out before allowing Cal Lutheran to win on a walk-off single, after being done in by two fielding errors in the inning. Perhaps frustrated by the heartbreaking 4-3 loss, the Loggers struggled in the second half of the double-header, managing only three hits in a 10-0 defeat.

The team then finished up their time in Southern California with one final doubleheader against Pomona-Pitzer on Thursday, Mar. 15. The Loggers’ starting pitcher in the first game, senior Joleen Monfiletto (Everett, Wash.), held Pomona-Pitzer scoreless for the first three innings, until the stalemate ended abruptly on a three-run home run that gave Pomona-Pitzer a lead that they never relinquished.

Pomona-Pitzer eventually cruised to a 9-4 victory. However, the second game was far more closely contested. Van Hess pitched another solid game, allowing just one run in seven innings. Despite her strong performance, the Loggers could only muster one run as well, forcing the game into extra innings.
Things looked promising for the Loggers, as senior Aryn Grause (Corvallis, Ore.) and freshman Marissa Jeffers (Issaquah, Wash.) delivered RBIs to give the Loggers a 3-1 advantage in the eighth inning.

However, the lead did not last. Pomona-Pitzer scored three runs in the bottom of the inning to win the game 4-3 and sweep the double-header.

The Loggers hoped a return to NWC play would improve their fortunes as they traveled back to the Pacific Northwest to take on rival Whitworth in a four-game set, which lasted from Saturday, Mar. 17 to Sunday, Mar. 18. Despite jumping out to an early one-nothing lead, courtesy of a double by Holt, the Loggers eventually fell behind in the first game and lost 6-3.

The second game featured more of the same. The Loggers allowed seven runs in the first inning on their way to a 12-7 defeat at the hands of the Pirates.

The Loggers appeared to finally snap out of their hitting slump in their first game the next day, as they strung ten hits together, and took held a 9-6 advantage going into the bottom of the seventh inning. Yet again, the team could not close out the victory, surrendering four runs in the bottom of the inning. The Loggers capped off their frustrating week by losing to Whitworth 7-2 in the second game on Sunday.