Bruins split with rival Wildcats
The George Fox softball team earned a hard-fought series split versus rival and longtime Northwestern Conference powerhouse Linfield at home over the weekend to remain in the thick of the league title chase.
The Bruins needed a four-run rally in the bottom of the seventh to pull out a 6-3 victory in the series opener Saturday after Annie Veatch singled to tie the game 3-3 and Aaliyah Kautz belted a three-run home run to win it.
The Wildcats scored three in the first inning of game two and kept the home side off the board until the seventh, but GFU produced another three-run shot, this time by Savannah Vargas, to force extra innings. That went for naught, though, as Linfield scored a pair in the top of the eighth and held on to level the series.
The Bruins used another late surge to take the first game Sunday, responding to the Wildcat's game-tying three spot in the top of the sixth with a six-run outburst in the bottom half of the frame. GFU got five hits, a walk and one hit batter in the frame, helping starter Madison Sorenson (9-1) pick up her second win of the weekend.
Linfield leveled the series final 1-1 with a run in the top of the fifth, then added another in the sixth and two in the seventh for a 4-1 win.
The Wildcats (14-6, 6-2 NWC) moved up into second place behind Pacific (11-3, 5-1), while the Bruins (13-5, 4-2) fell to third. George Fox will travel to Forest Grove Saturday and Sunday for four games against the Boxers, who have beaten up on Willamette (2-7, 2-4) and Pacific Lutheran (8-10, 3-5) so far in league play.
Sunshine Invitational -- Mason Koch took medalist honors to led George Fox to second place Monday in Pasco, Wash. Frost limited play to nine holes Sunday, but Koch fired an 74 Saturday to finish at even-par 108 and edge Whitworth's Sam Stiles by one stroke. Alex Pluquellec came in at 110 to place third for the Bruins, who totaled 453 after 27 holes to finish five strokes behind Linfield (448).
Cal State EB Invitational -- The Bruins, ranked No. 2 in NCAA Division III, placed 10th in a field comprised mostly of Division II foes. George Fox sat in eighth after an opening-round 327, but fell two spots after carding a 328 on March 6. Freshman Kayle Hunn led the effort, placing in a tie for 21st after rounds of 79 and 80.
Whitman 7, George Fox 2 -- Spencer Watanabe and William Leach won 8-1 at No. 1 doubles and Watanabe defeated Zach Hewlin 7-5, 6-3 at No. 1 singles for the Bruins' two points in the home loss to the No. 11 Blues on Saturday .
George Fox 8, Whitworth 1 -- The Bruins were a 9-8 (8-6) loss away from a sweep, as Justin Barton and Tristen Lerma fell at No. 3 doubles. GFU won the other doubles matches 8-2 and 8-4 before winning all six singles duels in straight sets Sunday.
George Fox 7, Southwestern 2 -- Watanabe and Leach lost a 8-6 grinder at No. 1 singles, but took a 2-1 lead into singles as the Bruins (6-1, 3-1 NWC) eventually upended the No. 38 Pirates. Winning in singles were Watanabe at No. 1, Leach at No. 2, Payton Namba at No. 4 and Jonah Wafula at No. 6.
Whitman 9, George Fox 0 -- Sophia Lawrence and Laney Search nearly broke through at No. 3 doubles, but fell 9-7, and the Blues cruised in singles Saturday to hand the Bruins a road loss.
Whitworth 7, George Fox 2 -- Jillian Studer and Lydia Pia teamed up for a 9-8 (7-5) win at No. 2 doubles, but GFU (3-5, 1-3 NWC) got only one win from Catrina Kwong at No. 1, in singles Sunday.
George Fox 19, Baldwin Wallace 15 -- The Bruins staked a 12-9 lead at halftime and led by five early in the second half before the visitors made it 16-14 with 10:57 to play. GFU closed on a 3-1 run to wrap it up, with Jess Hanson scoring five goals and Jennifer Burke adding four.
George Fox 13, Whitman 10 -- The Blues score three straight to make it 11-10 Bruins with 8:22 to play, but Jocelyn Welberg and Madision Strickland answered back to give the Bruins (5-0, 3-0 NWC) the road win Saturday.
Whitworth 10-7, George Fox 3-0 -- The host Pirates (10-7, 5-1 NWC) belted out 15 hits in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader and limited the Bruins to just three hits to take the nightcap.
Whitworth 7, George Fox 1 -- The Bruins (14-6, 8-4) struggled to solve Whitworth's pitching, notching just three hits again, and fell into third place after being swept.