Western Oregon Drop West Regional Opener To Gators
Tyler Creach was one of three Western Oregon playerd with two hits in the contest. Photo by Troy Makalena.
Tyler Creach was one of three Western Oregon playerd with two hits in the contest. Photo by Troy Makalena.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

IRVINE, Calif. – No. 5 seed Western Oregon could not hold on to an early lead as No. 4 seed San Francisco scored all of its runs in the middle innings to defeat the Wolves 6-3 in the opening game of the NCAA Division II West Region Softball Championship at Concordia-Irvine’s Eagles Field.

Both teams managed 10 hits, but the Gators scored two runs in both the third and sixth innings and single runs in the fourth and fifth to earn the first win in the tournament’s Irvine bracket. Sophomore Ayanna Arceneaux led the Wolves offensively by going 2 for 3 with a run scored while senior Ryanne Whitaker and sophomore Tyler Creach each went 2 for 4. Tianna Jacques went 3 for 3 with a double and two runs to pace San Francisco State.

With the loss, the Wolves (31-17) will face the loser of Thursday afternoon’s game between Concordia-Irvine and Concordia on Friday at 3:30 p.m. San Francisco State will face the winner of that game on Friday at 1 p.m.

After going quietly through the first two innings, Western Oregon opened scoring in the third as Kennedy Coy, Arceneaux and Whitaker all reached on singles. Two batters later, Cheyanne Rimer knocked a short single to the pitcher that was enough to score Coy from third.

The lead was short-lived, however, as the Gators took two runs back in the home half of the third. Brylynn Vallejos hit an infield single to open the frame and scored two batters later on a double by Michelle Castro. With two outs, Katelyn Sturm gave her team the lead for good with a single that scored Castro from second.

San Francisco State tallied one run in the fourth when Jacques hit a lead-off double and scored on a sacrifice fly and Castro made it a 5-1 lead on Castro’s solo home run to left center field in the fifth. The Gators turned a one-out error into a pair of runs in the sixth. Jacques singled, advanced to third on the error and scored on a fielder’s choice. Hildan added the final run when she stole home.

Western Oregon did not go down without a fight, scoring a pair of runs in the top of the seventh. Arceneaux and Whitaker lead off with singles before Creach added the third single of the frame to score Arceneaux. After advancing to third on a wild pitch, Whitaker scored on a ground out before pitcher Emily Mitchell coaxed the next two batters into outs to close out the game.

Senior Haley Fabian took the pitching loss for Western Oregon, falling to 13-5 on the season after she allowed six runs, four earned, on 10 hits with one strikeout. Mitchell improved to 17-12 with the win as she allowed three runs on 10 hits with one walk and eight strikeouts.