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April 17, 2011

Lutes Finish Softball Sweep of Puget Sound

TACOMA - Pacific Lutheran banged out a total of 29 hits, including a home run in each game by Lindsey Matsunaga, to sweep a Northwest Conference softball doubleheader from the host Puget Sound Loggers on Sunday afternoon at East Field.

With the 13-6 and 8-3 wins, the Lutes improve to 28-10 overall and to 22-4 in the conference, while the Loggers conclude their season at 11-27 overall and 9-19 in conference play.

PLU plays its final two regular season games on Tuesday afternoon against Whitworth at Big Bend Community College in Moses Lake. After that, the Lutes will be the No. 2 seed in the conference postseason tournament slated for Friday and Saturday, April 22-23, at Linfield College in McMinnville, Ore.

Matsunaga added to her surprising power numbers this season, blasting a two-run shot in the seventh inning of the opener and belting a solo homer in the second inning of the nightcap. Matsunaga, a frosh shortstop from Kaneohe, Hawaii, has 10 home runs and is hitting .413 with an .826 slugging percentage this season.

The Lutes pounded out 17 hits in the opener and scored at least one run in every inning but the fourth. Amanda Goings was 3-for-4 with two RBI, Kaely Cuthill was 2-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI, and Kaaren Hatlen was 3-for-4 with two RBI. And that was just the top part of the lineup. Matsunaga finished 2-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI, Katie Lowery was 2-for-3 with two doubles, Haley Harshaw was 3-for-4 with three runs scored, and Ami Gran scored twice and drove in two.

All of that offense supported the pitching of Stacey Hagensen, who gave up 10 hits and five earned runs but nonetheless improved her season record to 18-4. She walked two and struck out five.

The second game was more of the same as the Lutes built a 5-1 lead after three innings and then cruised in for the win. They had 12 hits in the game, including three from Goings and two each by Hagensen, Hatlen and Matsunaga. Hatlen had a pair of doubles and drove in two runs, and Cuthill and Harshaw both had two RBI for the Lutes. Matsunaga scored three times and Hagensen touched home plate twice for PLU.

Hatlen was the winning pitcher, improving her season record to 9-3. She allowed two earned runs on eight hits while walking none and fanning four.

- PLU -