GEORGETOWN, Texas – A tight strike zone giveth and a tight strike zone taketh away. The Southwestern University Pirates softball team found itself on both sides of that equation in their season opener against the Pacific Lutheran Lutes.
The Pirates surrendered a seventh-inning lead on a bases loaded walk only to find victory with a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the eighth for an 8-7 win in Game 1 of Sunday's doubleheader.
Pacific Lutheran struck first in the top of the first. Showcasing her speed on the base paths by beating out a Celeste Silvas throw from shortstop, Bailey Plumb led off with an infield single. After advancing to second on a Chaella Galapon groundout and stealing third, Plumb scored on a wild pitch for the first run of the game.
Sydney Scott opened and closed things for the Pirates' offense, hitting a leadoff double to left field in the bottom of the first and advancing to third on a throwing error. Celeste Silva followed with a single and Kaitlynn Copher hit a RBI single to center field, scoring Scott and moving Silva to third.
Southwestern grabbed its first lead with crafty base running with runners on the corners. Copher was thrown out stealing second but Silva scored from third on the throw for a 2-1 lead.
The Pirates picked up another run in the fourth inning on a RBI from Jordan Farber, grounding out to second base while scoring Izzy Richey. Pacific Lutheran would replace starting pitcher Kennedy Robillard with Kathryn Hatlen in the fifth, holding the Pirates scoreless for three innings.
Pacific Lutheran was able to manufacture a run with two outs in the top of the sixth inning, taking advantage of a hit batter and single through the left side to score on an Elise Freund single to right field to cut the Pirate lead to 5-2.
The Lutes exploded in the seventh, getting a three-run homerun from Hatlen, followed by a single to end starting pitcher Bailey Meyer's day. Sydney Hodge entered the game and gave up a single and walked three to send in another run, prompting the head coach Angela Froboese to turn to relief pitcher Nadia Netek, who ended the inning.
Netek faced five batters in the top of the eighth but retired the side with no runs scored. The Pirates then found life on back-to-back errors, putting two on followed by two walks, with Scott drawing the final one to score Montemayor to end the game.
Scott finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs and Katie Bricarell with 1-for-3 with the two-run homerun. Silvas was 3-for-4 with a run scored. The Pirates finished with eight hits and six walks.
Meyer started and pitched 6.1 innings for the Pirates, giving up six earned runs with four walks and two strikeouts. Netek pitched 1.1 innings with a walk and no hits to pick up the win.