Wildcat softball holds off Simon Fraser to earn split - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Wildcat softball holds off Simon Fraser to earn split

ELLENSBURG, Wash. -- Freshman Heidy Wells (Tacoma, Wash./Stadium HS) had a two-run, bases-loaded single in the bottom of the first inning, and then pitched the Central Washington University softball team to victory by scattering five hits over seven innings as the Wildcats won game two of Sunday's doubleheader over Simon Fraser University, 3-1. CWU lost the opener, 4-3.

The Wildcats, who wore yellow jerseys on Sunday as part of their fourth annual ALS Fundraiser game, are now 14-25 overall and held onto fifth place in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference standings with their 10-17 conference record. Simon Fraser, which won five of six meetings between the two schools this season, is now 25-11 and 18-10 in the conference.

Wells' first-inning hit was aided by a swirling Ellensburg wind, as she hit a sky-high pop-up on the infield. The ball landed between three Simon Fraser infielders who all converged on the play, but with the bases loaded and two out, a pair of runs came home to score to make it a 2-0 CWU lead.

Simon Fraser scored its only run of the game after a four-pitch walk started the inning and a sacrifice fly by Rosie Murphy cut the Wildcats' lead to 2-1.

CWU had numerous opportunities to add to its lead, leaving the bases loaded in the third and two more runners stranded in the fourth. However, they finally manufactured an insurance run in the fifth inning, as junior Elena Carter (Olympia, Wash./Black Hills HS) led off with a single, advanced to second on a sacrifice and then to third on an illegal pitch. She then came home after Wells hit another shallow pop-up that was this time mishandled at second base, making the score 3-1.

Meanwhile, Wells escaped jams in the pitching circle in the final two innings. After allowing just two hits over the first five innings, she allowed consecutive baserunners with one out in the sixth but held the Clan off the scoreboard. Then in the seventh, she allowed back-to-back hits to start the inning including a double by Lauren Mew that put runners at second and third with nobody out, but induced a pair of groundouts to shortstop that held the runners in place. She then walked GNAC batting leader Kelsey Haberl intentionally and got Leah Riske to groundout to end the game and preserve the victory.

Central Washington finished with a 6-5 edge in hits, led by a 3 for 4 outing from Carter, who also scored two runs. The Wildcats did strand 10 runners on base in their six innings at the plate, as they had four batters reach base after being hit by pitches. Wells (4-8) walked five and struck out just one in her seven innings in the pitching circle.

In game one, the Wildcats fell behind 2-0 in the top of the first, and 4-0 after 4 1/2 innings of play, before scratching their way back into the game. CWU picked up two runs on the same misplay in the bottom of the fifth inning, as senior Bre Thomas (Vancouver, Wash./Columbia River HS) reached base on a bunt single that advanced freshman pinch-runner Shelby Yasuda (Woodinville, Wash.) to second base. However, the throw from third base on the play sailed wide of the first base bag and all the way into the right-field corner, which allowed Yasuda and Thomas to both score and make it a 4-2 contest.

Central Washington closed to within 4-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning, with Thomas driving home junior Kyleen Sweepe (North Bend, Wash./Mount Si HS) with a groundout. The Wildcats were then primed to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh inning on a one-out double by junior Liz Jusko (Snohomish, Wash.), but the potential game-tying run -- freshman Adrianne DeLay (White Salmon, Wash./Columbia HS) -- was thrown out at the plate to preserve the one-run SFU margin.

Simon Fraser scored its first-inning runs on RBI singles from Megan Durrant and Brittany Ribeiro, but the Clan was helped by some control difficulties by CWU sophomore pitcher Maria Gau (Woodinville, Wash.). Gau walked three consecutive hitters before Durrant's single as part of a rough outing in which she walked seven.

SFU got its run in the third on a home run by Durrant, and a single tally in the fifth after a defensive error on a sacrifice bunt.

Central Washington outhit Simon Fraser, 9-5, led by a 2 for 4 outing from Thomas. Seven others had one hit each for the Wildcats.

The Wildcats will return to action on Thursday afternoon (Apr. 19) at 4 p.m., taking on Saint Martin's University in the resumption of a game protested by SMU earlier this season. CWU will be batting with a 3-0 deficit in the bottom of the first inning against the Saints.
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