COLLEGE PLACE — The Walla Walla University softball team won a slugfest, 12-11, in walk-off style the opening game, and lost the second game in six innings, 10-2, to the Skagit Valley Cardinals here Wednesday.
The Wolves were an unlikely winner in game one after trailing 6-2 after 4 1/2 innings. Walla Walla fought back in the fifth, as the Wolves put the first 10 batters on base, scoring eight runs on eight hits and one walk.
“We actually could have put up two or three more runs that fifth inning,” Walla Walla coach Mike Jimenez said. “We scored the eight runs without an out.”
Walla Walla’s rally included two RBIs each from Katie Wilson, Taylor Larsen and Kristi Hernandez.
The rally put the Wolves ahead 10-6 going headed into the sixth, but it wasn’t enough.
Skagit Valley scored five times in the top of the sixth on seven hits.
But the Wolves tied it in their half of the sixth. Larsen led off with a single, Elizabeth Jones bunted and reached on an error, and with a runner in scoring position, Hernandez singled Larson in to score.
Walla Walla held the Cardinals scoreless in the top of the seventh before loading the bases in the bottom of the inning as Karly Joseph walked and Larsen and Jones singled. Hernandez then had the game-winning hit.
The Wolves didn’t fare nearly as well in the nightcap as they fell in an eight-run, mercy-rule shortened game after six innings.
“The doubleheader was good and bad,” Jimenez said. “For two games up to this point, this is the best that we’ve played. Looking at the first game, to be down four and rally was great. Then to lose the lead again, tie it and win it in the seventh was amazing.
“The second game wasn’t quite as good. We are still a young team that will improve in some areas.”
Walla Walla managed just two runs on eight hits in game two, while making four errors in the field.
Wolves’ pitchers Nicole Beeks and Brittani Gutierrez each pitched in both games.
“At times, our defense didn’t help our pitchers,” Jimenez said. “We have some younger players. But all-in-all, I’ll take the split. To put that many runs up for us in a single game and in two games is really a good day. It is a good day for us.”
The Wolves host Eastern Oregon University Sunday at 1 p.m. in a doubleheader.
Skagit Valley 311 015 0 — 11 26 4
Walla Walla 020 081 1 — 12 20 5
Lopez, Trumball (5) and Gladsjo. Beeks, Gutierrez (7) and Gutierrez, Jones (7).
Hits — Skagit: Chapman 4, Falcone 2, Gladsjo 3, Brown 2, Trumball 2, Spence 4, Douglas 4, Lopez, Certain, Wilson, Miksovsky 2. WWU: Wilson 2, Hill 3, Beeks 2, Gutierrez 2, Larsen 2, Jones 2, Hernandez 4, Barton 2, Supp’e.
Skagit Valley 001 333 — 10 15 2
Walla Walla 000 020 — 2 5 4
Douglas and Falcone. Gutierrez, Beeks (6) and Jones.
Hits — Skagit: Chapman 3, Falcone 2, Brown, Spence 2, Douglas 2, Gruland 2, Visser, Wilson, Miksovsky. WWU: Wilson, Hill, Beeks, Gutierrez, Hernandez.