Linfield softball messes with Texas teams
Courtesy of Linfield sports information
MARSHALL, Texas – With both delivering knockout punches in a midseason prize fight of Top 10 NCAA Division III heavyweights, 10th-ranked Linfield and No. 5 East Texas Baptist each left Taylor Field with something yet to prove.
The teams split the nonconference doubleheader, perhaps foreshadowing potential battles to come in the NCAA playoffs.
Senior All-American Karina Paavola spun a one-hitter as the Wildcats fired the opening salvo, winning 5-1. Riding the arm of sophomore Kelly Jo McLendon in Game 2, ETBU responded with a solid 4-1 victory.
Two home runs by Haylie Watson – one in each game - provided most of Linfield's fireworks on a day when Wildcat hitters were contained to 10 hits across 14 innings.
Linfield played Mary Hardin-Baylor in a doubleheader Monday in Belton, Texas, and plays at Trinity College (San Antonio) at 3 p.m. today.
Linfield 11, Texas-Tyler 2 (6)
Texas-Tyler 7, Linfield 1
TYLER, Texas – Top-10 NCAA Division III powerhouses Linfield and Texas-Tyler took turns beating up the other's pitching staff, resulting in a doubleheader standoff on a warm Friday afternoon at UT-Tyler Ballpark.
Each team entered the proverbial litmus test with just a single loss. In the opener, it was 10th-ranked Linfield pinning an 11-2 loss on UT-Tyler in a game that was halted after six innings by the eight-run rule. The No. 9 Patriots became the aggressors in the nightcap, rolling up nine hits in a 7-1 walkover.
In the first game, Katy Brosig and Lisa Yamamoto each went 3-for-4, McKenna Spieth blasted her second home run of the season, and Karina Paavola tossed a complete-game victory for her 11th win of the season.
In the second game, UTT jumped on Linfield for five first-inning runs and never looked back. Wildcats starter Montana McNealy gave up single to the first three batters she faced and the Wildcats unraveled from there.
Linfield scored its only run in the fourth when Brosig doubled to put Erin Carson on third base. She later scored on a sacrifice fly by Ashley Garcia.
Linfield 7, LeTourneau 1
Linfield 10, LeTourneau 0 (5)
LONGVIEW, Texas – Katy Brosig went 4-for-5 and Ashley Garcia smacked a pair of doubles and drove home six runs to lead 10th-ranked Linfield to a doubleheader sweep of LeTourneau University Thursday afternoon at the LETU Softball Field.
Linfield upped its season record to 17-1 with the two nonconference wins, prevailing 7-1 in the opener and 10-0 in the nightcap that was halted after five innings by the eight run rule.
Pitchers Karina Paavola, Shelby VandeBergh and Montana McNealy collectively held the Yellowjackets to just five hits in the two games.
Striking out 11 LeTourneau batters in Game 1, Paavola picked up her 10th pitching victory of the season with a complete-game three-hitter. VandeBergh and McNealy combined for four strikeouts while yielding just two hits in the second contest.
In the opener, Linfield led 3-1 through six innings before freshman Danielle Duman clobbered a grand slam home run. Brosig and Grace Middelstadt both had three hits in the game; freshman Erin Kinney also homered for the ‘Cats.
Linfield rolled up six runs in the second inning of Game 2, then four more in the third to put the game out of reach early on. Garcia pounded two doubles to raise her season total to eight, picking up five RBI in the process. VandeBergh earned the win to improve to 4-1 in the pitching circle.