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GFU hands Linfield its first loss

Bruins snap a three-game skid with a 2-0 victory over No. 11 Wildcats


McMINNVILLE — George Fox started its week with a bang and a dramatic 6-2 victory over Lewis & Clark and capped it by upsetting previously unbeaten Linfield 2-0, but three losses in between soured the wins.

After seeing their four-game set versus the Pioneers rained out, the Bruins hosted a make-up game March 11.

Lewis & Clark took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth, but GFU exploded for six runs in the frame to snatch the victory.

Kayla Anderson reached on a throwing error to start the rally, with Amanda Woods doubling and Courtney Howard walking to load the bases. Baylee Westrick singled to get George Fox on the board and after a force out at home, Becca Olson singled homed Woods to knot the game at two runs apiece.

Following a second force out at the plate, Felicia Chavez slammed a ball over the right-field fence for a game-winning grand slam.by: SETH GORDON - Stand and deliver - Senior pitcher Erin Hento, who struck out five batters in seven innings, unleashes a pitch during George Fox's 6-2 win over Lewis & Clark March 11 at Morse Field.

Starter Erin Hento then retired the side in the top of the seventh to secure her fifth win of the season after giving up five hits with five strikeouts and one walk.

Little went the way of the Bruins Saturday, however, as visiting Willamette blasted George Fox 9-1 and 3-0 in a deflating doubleheader sweep.

The Bruins struck first in the opener on a bases-loaded walk in the first, but the Bearcats leveled the game in the second and pulled ahead 5-1 with four in the fourth thanks to a two-run single by Ashley Pender and a two-run home run by Amanda Absher.

Anderson and Woods had three hits apiece, but GFU never got on the board again and Hento took the loss after five innings of work.

Willamette scored single runs in the first, sixth and seventh innings, which was more than enough to outpace the Bruins, who managed just three hits to hand the loss to Allyssa DenDekker.

The Bruins looked far better Sunday in McMinnville, even though the No. 11 Wildcats prevailed 1-0 in 10 innings in the opener, spoiling a gem from Hento, who allowed six hits with eight strikeouts.

Erin Carson doubled to open the bottom of the 10th and came home two batters later on a Kenzie Schmoll single.

DenDekker was stellar in helping turn the tide in the nightcap and end the program’s 52-game losing streak against Linfield, which has won the past 10 Northwest Conference titles.

George Fox got a run in the first when Wildcats pitcher Shelby VandeBergh gave up a bases-loaded walk, then Westrick doubled the lead with an RBI single in the third.

“Yes, it’s good to get that one out of the way; it’s been a long time coming,” head coach Jessica Hollen said of long-awaited win. “Linfield is still an excellent team and a national power, so I think what this does more than anything is tell us how far our program at Fox has come.”

The Bruins (11-5, 5-5 NWC) fell into fourth place after the week and will play Whittier Saturday in the Tucson Invitational Games in Arizona.



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