TACOMA, Wash.—The Puget Sound softball team battled all day, but the Loggers found themselves on the short side of two tightly contested ballgames as they fell in both games of a doubleheader with Northwest Conference foe Lewis & Clark Wednesday at Logger Field in Tacoma, Wash.
GAME ONE: Lewis & Clark 7, Puget Sound 4
Lewis & Clark took the lead early in the top of the first after a leadoff double from Haley Robinson. Robinson stole second during the next at bat and scored when Tiana Rosario hit a grounder to short. Rosario reached first safely thanks to a Logger error, and she scored two batters later on a single down the left field line from Madison Hollenbeck. The score stood at 2-0 until the top of the fourth when the Pioneers scored one more for a 3-0 lead.
Puget Sound found some runs in the bottom of the fourth after Bailee Larson reached on a fielder's choice and advanced to second on to a walk from Chelsea Lindroth. Jaci Young then singled to center field to load the bases. That brought up Taylor Jones, who singled up the middle to score both Larson and Lindroth, cutting the Pioneers' lead to one.
Lewis & Clark responded with two more in the top of the fifth inning, and the visitors added two in its half of the seventh as well. The Loggers started a seventh-inning rally in their half of the frame after Jones doubled down the left field line and took third on a Kristi Nagamine groundout. Lisa Colombo ripped a double over her own to right center, plating Jones. Colombo scored in the next at bat after Megan Campbell tallied an RBI single up the middle. It wasn't meant to be, however, as the Loggers made their third and final out in the next at bat while the Pioneers held on for the 7-4 win.
Both Jones and Colombo hit 2-for-4 in game one, tallying a single and a double each. Jones had two RBIs while Colombo and Campbell each knocked in one run apiece.
GAME TWO: Lewis & Clark 7, Puget Sound 5 (8 innings)
Game two marked the third extra-inning game of 2014 for the Loggers. The Pioneers took an early lead in the top of the first inning. Robinson, the leadoff hitter, was hit by a pitch after a series of ground outs made her way around the bases to score for Lewis & Clark.
Puget Sound held Lewis & Clark to one run in the top of the first and earned that one in the bottom of the third inning. Larson and Jones drew walks to put runners on first and second, and Nagamine got hit by a pitch to load the bases for Colombo, Puget Sound's cleanup hitter. The sophomore drew yet another walk for an RBI, tying the game at 1-1.
Lewis & Clark retook the lead with two more runs in the fifth inning, but the Loggers earned one back in the bottom of the frame to come within one. The Pioneers added another run in the top of the seventh after a double from Caitlin Basilio and a triple down the right field line from Kelsey Buck. They were held to only two runs in the inning after Lindroth came from second base to make a diving catch for a pop-up on the first base line and then threw Buck out at third for a stunning double-play.
The Logger offense was apparently invigorated by Lindroth's defensive play as the home team's bats came alive in the bottom of the seventh inning. Young led off the frame with a single to second base. This brought the top of the lineup for Puget Sound. Jones battled for a walk and then Nagamine laid a bunt down to third base. The Pioneer defense attempted to get Young, the lead runner, but a poor toss allowed Young to scamper home and keep the Loggers' rally chances alive. Colombo then grounded out to move both up 60 feet, and Jones scored the tying run when a pitch got past Lewis & Clark catcher Maddie Lee. With the score tied at four, the two teams headed into extra frames.
Lewis & Clark responded to the Logger rally with a lead off homerun from Rosario and a double from Hannah Dal Pra in the top of the eighth inning. Young came in as relief for Campbell, but gave up a homer to Lindsay Yearman to give the Pioneers a 7-4 lead. Puget Sound would get one of those runs back as Lindroth scored from first base on a fielding error, but that was it and the squad fell to Lewis & Clark 7-5.
Puget Sound (2-24, 1-19 NWC) now hits the road for four games in Oregon. The Loggers travel to Forest Grove, Ore., for a doubleheader at Pacific on Saturday, April 5. The next day they'll take on George Fox in Newberg, Ore. Games will start at 12:00 p.m. on both days.