Wildcats clobber Bearcats in home opener


Kyle Huizinga

Linfield senior Darian Stedman swung for the fences and allowed the team to load the bases, eventually leading to a run.

Braelyn Swan, Staff writer

The Wildcats swept the Willamette Bearcats in their home opener. On Saturday, the ‘Cats went 8-0 and 13-2. Sunday, the ‘Cats again blazed the field 12-4 and 12-1. All four games ended before a full seven innings due the ‘Cats’ immense lead.

“It felt awesome to finally have games at home and it felt good to start our home games with a sweep,” senior Darian Stedman said. “We did a good job both offensively and defensively. We also did a good job of not playing down to their level.”

The first two runs were scored in the second by sophomore Kelsey Wilkinson, a pinch runner who ran for sophomore Chelsea Horita, after a single by junior Paige Smotherman. And then Smotherman came home after Jacinda Swiger singled to the catcher.

Senior Emily Allen scored three of the eight runs. Fellow senior Jessica Woodruff also scored in the fourth after Smotherman hit a double out at third. Freshman Alana Nuttman was brought home in the fifth by a double from Horita.

In Saturday’s second game, Linfield snagged the 13-2 lead by the end of the fourth inning. This was the shortest game of the weekend. Woodruff scored Linfield’s first run in the second inning of the game off a single to centerfield by sophomore Makenna Clizer.

“We came out ready to play this weekend. We knew we couldn’t take Willamette lightly, so we came out playing our game. It was great to see hitters 1-9 producing. And it was awesome to see adjustments being made throughout the weekend,” senior Melanie Oord said.

Linfield scored 12 runs in both games on Sunday. Senior Cheyenne Fletcher and Allen both scored three runs.

In the second game, seniors Jacinda Swiger and Fletcher both scored two runs each.

The Wildcats will play home at noon on March 24 against Pacific Lutheran.