Softball bests Bushnell in high-scoring sweep

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JJ Anderson

Junior Abi Proffitt hit a grand slam Wednesday night against Bushnell, her first homerun of the year.

JJ Anderson, Staff Writer

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Linfield softball swept a double-header against Bushnell University Wednesday evening at Del Smith Stadium, winning 3-1 and 18-2, respectively. 

Game 1

Senior Maddy Podnar threw a complete game for the Wildcats, recording five strikeouts and five hits. 

After a scoreless first two innings, the Beacons struck first with a single to left field, scoring one.

Junior left fielder Katie Phillips walked with two outs in the bottom of the third. Fifth year catcher Kamryn Apling then roped a double into center field, scoring Phillips to tie the game 1-1.

In the fourth inning, Podnar retired the first three batters she faced, recording two strikeouts. Sophomore designated player Emma Podliska pushed the ‘Cats into a 2-1 lead with an opposite field solo home run. The homer was the first of the season for the Wildcats.

Junior shortstop Katrina Johns led off the sixth with a single and eventually scored after Podliska knocked in her second RBI of the game on a single to left field.

Linfield would hold steady in the top of the seventh, shutting down an attempted comeback.

The Wildcats finished the game with six hits and Bushnell ended with five. 

Game 2

Following a close game one, the visiting Beacons jumped out to an early 0-1 lead in the top of the first inning off a Linfield error. 

Linfield quickly answered, scoring 15 runs on only four hits in the bottom of the first. 

Junior first baseman Abi Proffitt started the rally with a grand slam over the right field fence, pushing the lead to 7-1 with no outs. The Wildcats walked five times, were hit by a pitch four times and batted completely through the lineup twice before the Beacons ended the inning.

Linfield went on to score two more in the bottom of the second. Junior right fielder Baily Paul was hit by a pitch for the second time in the game, scoring one and giving Paul her fourth RBI of the game. The second run came off of an error, giving Proffitt her fourth RBI as well. 

In the third inning, senior second baseman Amanda Reser entered the game as a pinch hitter and launched a solo home run, scoring the final Wildcat run of the game to push the lead to 18-1.

The Beacons would find the scoring column again with a run in the top of the fifth, but the eight-run rule ended the game at the end of the inning. 

Sophomore Tayah Kelley started in the circle for the ‘Cats and recorded two strikeouts through two innings. Sophomore Jordan Bennett, freshman Tyler Warden and senior Riley Sykes also saw time in the circle, pitching an inning apiece. 

Next up, the Wildcats (5-1) will host the Pacific Lutheran Lutes (0-0) in a double-header on March 6 starting at 1 p.m. at Del Smith Stadium.