Saturday roundup: softball sweep, soccer and tennis fall short

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Nathan Herde

Linfield softball swept Eastern Oregon in their home opener Saturday afternoon.

Maddie Loverich, Sports Editor

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Softball

Linfield University softball swept Eastern Oregon University in a cloudy double-header Saturday afternoon, winning 3-0 and 11-0, respectively. 

A strong offensive performance from senior designated hitter Shakayla Snyder propelled the Wildcats to their first win, going 1-3 with two RBIs. 

Junior Katrina Johns recorded the first hit of the season with a double in the bottom of the second inning, followed with a shallow single by Snyder to score Johns. In the fourth inning, a sacrifice fly from Snyder drove in another run. 

In the bottom of the fifth, junior Katie Phillips singled to start the inning. An overthrow to first base scored Phillips, bringing the final score to 3-0.

Senior Maddy Podner pitched a complete game, recording three strikeouts and keeping Eastern to three hits. 

Maddy Podner threw a three hit shutout in the Wildcat’s home opener. (Nathan Herde)

Sophomore Tayah Kelley started the second game, recording five strikeouts in three innings. Sophomore Jordan Bennett and senior Riley Sykes also saw time on the mound during the 11-0 shutout. 

Fifth-year Kelsey Wilkinson led off the bottom of the first with a single up the middle. A bunt from Phillips scored Wilkinson to put the Wildcats on the board. 

Sophomore designated hitter Emma Podliska had a big day at the plate, going 2-3 with four RBIs. Phillips also went 2-3 with two RBIs. Juniors Abi Proffitt and Baily Paul added two RBIs a piece. 

Junior Katie Phillips went 3 for 6 in Saturday’s doubleheader vs. Eastern Oregon. (Nathan Herde)

Linfield recorded nine hits during the second game and Eastern had only three. The eight-run rule, a rule that ends the game when a team is winning by more than eight runs, ended the game in the fifth inning.   

The Wildcats are scheduled to play a noon double header on Sunday against Warner Pacific University. If the weather holds up, the matchup will be the first in Linfield softball history. 

Women’s soccer

A 1-3 loss to Lewis and Clark College at home on Saturday rounded out a busy week of exhibition matches for the Linfield University women’s soccer team. The week also included a pair of 4-0 shutouts over Bushnell University on Tuesday and Warner Pacific University on Friday and a mid-week 0-1 loss to Northwest Conference opponent Pacific University. 

In Saturday’s game, Linfield had 11 total shots and Lewis and Clark took 10, with five shots on goal for both teams. Lewis and Clark sophomore forward Sofia Seirmarco scored the first goal of the game in the 17th minute. 

Wildcat senior forward Michayla Sponsel responded with a goal to tie the game in the 56th minute, with an assist from junior forward Makenna Blix. 

Six minutes later, a goal from the left side by freshman defender Olivia Cowley put the Pioneers back in the lead. In the 74th minute, another Lewis and Clark goal solidified the win.

NWC conference play begins for the ‘Cats on Feb. 28 against the George Fox University. The last two matchups against George Fox in 2019 both ended in a 0-0 tie after double overtime.

Men’s tennis 

Men’s tennis recorded a 0-7 loss against Portland State University on Saturday morning during their season opener in Beaverton, Oregon. 

The exhibition match against the Division-I squad will be Linfield’s only competition outside of the NWC. The team will continue to play exhibition matches throughout the season against Whitworth University, Lewis and Clark and Pacific to increase competition opportunities since COVID-related travel restrictions have affected the Wildcat’s schedule. 

In the first singles match to finish, senior Michael Manion fell to PSU senior Tommy Edwards 0-6, 0-6. At the No. 1 spot, junior Blake Fuentes Gilbert had the most competitive match against junior Viking Matteo Fortini, but eventually finished 0-6, 3-6. 

The Vikings also swept all three doubles matches. In the No. 1 doubles spot, Manion and senior Cameron Ventura were bested by the Viking duo Edwards and Fortini by a score of 2-6. In the first match to finish, senior Ethan Myers and junior Josef Shum fell 0-6. A 2-6 loss by Fuentes Gilbert and freshman newcomer Nick Gableman followed suit. 

The Wildcat’s next matches are at home against Whitworth on Saturday, March 6, and Sunday, March 7. Saturday’s match will count towards NWC standings, but Sunday’s match will only serve as an exhibition match.