Linfield reaches semifinals in NFCA Leadoff Classic

Sara Levering, Copy Editor

The Linfield softball girls won three of five games in an invitation only tournament, formally known as the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Leadoff Classic.

This tournament features the top programs in Division III softball. The ’Cats reached the semifinals of the Silver Bracket.

Sophomore Melanie Oord and junior Alissa Buss both hit over .400 while leading the team in bases. Pitchers Shelby Saylors, ’19, and Maddy Dunn, ’16, compiled a 5-1 record.

Linfield faced Augustana and won 10-1 in 5 innings. Saylors had two hits and two walks and Oord went 2 for 2.

Junior Erin Tauscher hit a three run homer in the first inning which ultimately propelled Linfield through that game.

In the second game, Linfield was outhit 12-5 against Christopher Newport in Virginia and they remained undefeated. Linfield was defeated 9-3.

In the third game against Fontbonne, Wildcat pinch-runners sophomore Jessica Woodruff and junior Alex Andreotti as well as freshman Maddy Colson worked for three stolen bases and Linfield capitalized and went even both teams even in hits.

Buss went 2 for 3 and scored twice. Junior Mikaela Viloria doubled and drove home a pair of runs in a pinch-hitting role.

Linfield faced Western Connecticut State and dominated 7-0. Dunn limited the opponents to three hits and improved to 5-1 on the season.

Freshman Paige Smotherman went 3-for-4 and gained two runs. Buss and junior Kenzie Schmoll both recorded stolen bases.

In their last game, they faced Birmingham-Southern (Alabama). It was a tough fight and ended with a Wildcat win 8-7.

Buss recorded three hits and freshman Darian Stedman and Schmoll had two hits. Pitchers junior Brooke Chapman, Sophomore Brynn Lio and Dunn managed just three strikeouts and allowed 13 hits.

There was a game-tying home run in the seventh inning. Freshman Jacinda Swiger added a stolen base for the ’Cats.

The ’Cats are 11-6 and return to Oregon on Monday to rest up and return to Northwest Conference play against Pacific. Games are set to start at noon on both days.