For the third straight game and the final time this season, Whitworth’s bats went ice cold at an inopportune time.
The Pirates (29-15) fell to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 3-0 Saturday in an elimination game of the Spokane NCAA Division III softball regional tournament. The Northwest Conference regular-season champions failed to score a run in both of their regional games this weekend.
The Pirates’ season ended with the loss.
“You can’t really talk about a whole lot else when those runs aren’t on the board,” said Whitworth head coach Cristal Brown, whose team did not score in its last 24 innings and were outscored 16-0 in their final three
CMS struck first with a two-run single from Tara Robinson with the bases loaded in the second inning. The Athenas added another run in the third with an RBI double from Carlene Roberts.
The Pirates’ biggest threat came into the bottom of the seventh as Michelle Silva reached second on an error and Desi Graham was hit by a pitch. But Tessa Matthews struck out and Allie Rude grounded into a 4-3 double play to end the game.
CMS’ ace, Anna Gurr, pitched a complete-game four-hitter, striking out five and walking one to pick up the win.
Madi Perez was handed the loss as the Pirates’ starter surrendered three earned runs in 2 1/3 innings. Makayla Lefever relieved Perez in the third inning and threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings.
The Athena’s No. 9 hitter, Shannon O’Neill, finished 2 for 3 with a run. Michelle Silva recorded two hits for the Pirates.
Whitworth loses seniors Alyssa Hall and Megan John, as well as All-NWC first-team players Lafever and Chelsey Hayes, who are leaving to attend nursing school next fall.
Despite losing four key contributors, Brown is optimistic with her returning roster for next season.
“We’re just going to keep building the culture that we want to build and hopefully we find ourselves back here,” she said. “Hopefully, we’ve set that this is the expectation from here on out.”
Linfield 5, George Fox 4: The Wildcats (31-13) hung on to a three-run lead in the seventh and defeated the Bruins to advance to Sunday’s championship round.
Cheyenne Fletcher was 3 for 4 with three RBIs for Linfield.
CMS 3, George Fox 1: Anna Gurr pitched five innings of scoreless relief and Katie Savard hit a solo homer in the fifth as the Athenas (36-9-1) eliminated the Bruins (31-16) to move to Sunday’s round against Linfield.
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