By Lauren Lovato /// Staff Writer
Lewis & Clark’s softball team hosted their first series of conference plays against Pacific Lutheran. Playing double headers both Saturday, March 15, and Sunday, March 16, against the nationally ranked Lutes, the lady Pioneers held up a tough fight.
In Saturday’s first game Hallie Knife (’15) took the mound, keeping the Lutes hitless for a solid three innings. After the Lutes scored on a walk, the Pios answered back with the bats as Caitlin Basilio (’14) singled to right field, scoring Lindsay Yearman (’17). In the bottom of the sixth, Madison Hollenbeck (’15) led off with a single while Maddie Lee (’15) answered back with a double to score Hollenbeck’s pinch runner Kylee Kennel (’17). However, this execution of runs was not enough to catch up to PLU, and the game concluded with a close 4-2 loss.
During game two of Saturday’s double-header, Pacific Lutheran meant business from the very start. In the top of the second they were able to put three runs on the board. During the bottom of the third, Haley Robinson (’16) was able to obtain a single. After Robinson was moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Tiana Rosario (’17), Hollenbeck found a hole in center field, bringing Robinson in to score. However, this was not enough to keep the Lutes from holding back. Hollenbeck took the loss with a score of 11-1 ending in six innings.
Sunday turned out to be another tough day for the Lady Pios as they struggled to keep up with Pacific Lutheran’s bats. Hollenbeck pitched a complete game, giving up eight runs off thirteen hits. LC tried to start a rally in the bottom of the third as Ashley Bolick (’17) found a gap in centerfield. They continued to gain momentum when Robinson advanced Bolick to second. Soon after, Rosario executed with a double to right, scoring Bolick. With Robinson on third, Hollenbeck came up to the plate with a distinct plan and singled up the middle, bringing in yet another run. The Pioneers couldn’t keep up the fire and ended the game in seven innings with a score of 8-2.
In game two, LC was again unable to come out on top. Knife pitched a complete game, giving up only five runs on twelve hits in seven innings with a score of 5-2. As they did in game one, the Pios shined in the bottom of third, with Robinson leading off the inning with a walk. She was able to advance to second on a sac bunt by Rosario. Hannah Dal Pra (’16) answered back with a double, bringing in Robinson. The inning ended with Amanda Rabith (’15) finding a gap in right field, scoring Hollenbeck, who got on base with a single.
Although the weekend was difficult, the Pios have been able to remain positive and take this weekend as just another learning experience. “It was a tough weekend. We had a lot of hard hits but nothing fell our way, unfortunately,” Hollenbeck said. “We got to take the losses and move on from them.”
“This weekend was tough because we didn’t play up to our potential at all,” Lee said. “But instead of taking it as a defeat, we’re using this weekend as motivation to come out hot over spring break and prove what we are capable of as a team.”
The Pios will be taking their talents on the road this coming week as they play non-conference games against Eastern Oregon on March 24 and Northwest Nazarene on March 25.