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Boxer baseball, softball teamsadvance to NWC tournament

Both Pacific squads will face Whitworth in the opening round

The Pacific softball team finished off a Northwest Conference sweep of Willamette with an extra-innings victory on Sunday afternoon, securing fourth place for the Boxers and a spot in this weekend’s NWC tournament.

It was a fitting way to end the four-game series, with Pacific needing eight innings to dispose of the Bearcats in each of the first two games on Saturday, then going nine innings for a 4-3 victory in the finale on Sunday.

The four wins improved the Boxers’ record to 17-11 in NWC play, good for fourth place behind league champion Whitworth and runners-up George Fox and Linfield, which tied for second.

Those four teams will meet up in Spokane this week for the annual NWC tournament, a double-elimination affair that begins on Friday morning with No. 1 Whitworth (28-11) against No. 4 Pacific (25-14-1) at 9 a.m., followed by No. 2 George Fox (28-12) versus No. 3 Linfield (26-13) at 11:30. The championship game is slated to start at 11 on Saturday.

Pacific pitching ace and Forest Grove graduate Marissa Reichard was named the NWC student-athlete of the week for her performance against Willamette.

The senior picked up two wins over the weekend, improving to 17-6 on the year. She pitched eight innings in the opener to pick up a 4-3 win, and she tossed nine innings in the series finale, another 4-3 triumph. In total, the workhorse pitched 19 innings in two days.

Reichard has already set a Pacific single-season record for innings pitched in a season with 172.1. She has tied the complete games record of 19, shared with Jennifer Sharp (1998) and Mandy Batey (2003), and she is one win away from tying the single-season standard for wins (18), set by Miranda McNealy in 2008.

Baseball takes down Whitman

Pacific’s baseball team also earned a spot in the season-ending Northwest Conference tournament, winning two of three games against Whitman last weekend to land in a three-way tie for third place.

The Boxers swept last Saturday’s doubleheader to clinch an NWC tournament berth, rolling to a 9-2 victory in the opener and then stealing a 2-1 victory in the nightcap on Charlie Dietrich’s run-scoring infield single in the bottom of the 11th.

Whitman rallied for a 6-4 win in 10 innings on Sunday, relegating Pacific to a third-place tie with George Fox and Linfield. The Bruins earned the tournament’s third seed by virtue of a tiebreaker against Pacific, while the Boxers edged Linfield on tiebreakers for the fourth seed.

The conference tournament begins Friday at noon with top-seeded Whitworth (25-8) facing No. 4 Pacific (23-14), followed by No. 2 Pacific Lutheran (22-16) against No. 3 George Fox (21-15) at 3 p.m.

The tourney continues Saturday and concludes with the final at noon on Sunday.

Walker Olis led the Boxers last Saturday against Whitman, going 3-for-3 with a home run, three runs scored, two RBIs, two walks and two stolen bases.

The performance helped Olis earn a spot in the Pacific record book with 50 runs scored this season, breaking the previous mark of 49 set by Matt Lengwenus in 2001. The senior’s 38 walks also set a new school record, surpassing the old mark of 35, accomplished by Billy Boyle (1996) and Ryan Lebreton (1997). Additionally, every stolen base in the books adds to Olis’s perfect record of 25-for-25.