Western Oregon Rallies To Beat Saints in 8 Innings
Play Video WOU mobs Jourdan Williams at home plate after her eighth-inning two-run home run won the game for the Wolves (Photo by Jeffrey Gaca).
WOU mobs Jourdan Williams at home plate after her eighth-inning two-run home run won the game for the Wolves (Photo by Jeffrey Gaca).

Thursday, May 1, 2014

RICHLAND, Wash - Western Oregon scored a run with two out in the bottom of the seventh to force extra innings, then got a two-run walk-off home run by third baseman Jourdan Williams in the eighth inning to beat Saint Martin's 3-1 in Game 2 of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Softball Championships at Columbia Playfield Thursday.

The Wolves (31-20), the GNAC regular-season champions,  will face third-seed Central Washington in a winner's bracket game Friday at 2 p.m.  Meanwhile the defending champion Saints (26-21) will take on second-seed Western Washington (26-21) in a loser-out game at 4:30 p.m.

Central Washington defeated Western Washington 8-7 in Thursday's first game. Friday's second-game winner will play the loser of Friday's first game at 7 p.m.

The championship game or games will be played Saturday beginning at noon with the victor earning an automatic berth in next week's NCAA West Regional.

For 6 2/3 innings, and with a little help from her defense, Saint pitcher Sam Munger was in control and just one strike away from the victory.

With the Saints leading 1-0, a backhanded snare of a sharp ground ball by third baseman Megan Miller to end the sixth kept Western Oregon off the scoreboard.

Then in the bottom of the seventh, SMU center fielder Taviah Jenkins made two outstanding plays, first throwing designated hitter Raina Reece out at second trying to stretch a single into a double.  Jenkins threw a strike from right center to shortstop Dani Wall.

The next Western Oregon batter then drove the ball to center where Jenkins crashed into the wall to acquire the second out.

Western Oregon, however, down to its final strike, climbed off the canvas as ninth-place hitter Danielle Hannan singled on a 0-2 count and then scored on a double by Melanie Pfeiffer to force extra innings.

In the eighth, after winning pitcher Kelli Demianew retired the side in order in the top of the frame, Amanda Evola led off WOU's half of the with a single.  She was then bunted to second by Bridget Box.  Williams then drove the ball to where center fielder Jenkins couldn't catch it - to left and over the fence.

Demianew allowed just five hits in earning her 15th win against nine losses.  She didn't walk a batter and struck out two.  Saint Martin's lone run scored on an error in the third and was unearned.

Munger sustained her 15th loss against 19 wins, giving up nine hits, five of them in the final 1 1/3 innings.

Pfeiffer and Hannan each had two hits for Western Oregon, while Jenkins had two of SMU's safeties.