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Hatlen and Lutes Swamp Pirates' Boat in NWC Action

Kaaren Hatlen
Kaaren Hatlen

SPOKANE – Kaaren Hatlen collected eight hits and seven runs batted in and pitched a three-hit shutout in the second game to lead Pacific Lutheran to a doubleheader sweep of the host Whitworth Pirates on Saturday at Marks Field.

The Lutes won the opening game, 12-1 in six innings, before taking the second contest by an 8-0 score.

A 2012 first team Division III All-American, Hatlen dominated Whitworth pitchers in helping the Lutes to improve to 4-2 overall, which is also the team's conference record.

The senior was 4-for-4 with a double, triple and four runs batted in during the first game. Her offensive production highlighted a 15-hit PLU attack and also supported Leah Butters, who allowed just one unearned run while throwing a one-hitter against the Pirates.

In the second game, Hatlen stroked four singles and drove in three runs when at the plate, and she allowed just three hits and a walk while fanning six in the complete-game pitching effort.

Game One – PLU 12, Whitworth 1 (6 innings)

The Lutes scored at least one run in all six innings in which they batted. In the first, Hatlen hit a triple to drive in Amanda Hall, who had reached on a two-out single. In the second, Lindsey Matsunaga hit a double and later scored on a throwing error.

PLU broke it open with three more in the third and two in the fourth. In the third inning, Glenelle Nitta walked, moved up a base on Hall's single, and then scored on Hatlen's double. Katie Lowery drove in the second run with a sacrifice fly, and Kelsey Robinson followed with a run-scoring single. An inning later, Hall hit a sacrifice fly and Hatlen followed with a two-out RBI single to make the score 7-0.

The Lutes added a run in the fifth on three hits, including a run-scoring single by Montessa Califano, and they scored four more times on three hits and an error in the top of the sixth. Hatlen had a RBI single, Lowery a run-scoring double, Spencer Sherwin a run-scoring ground ball, and Matsunaga a sacrifice fly.

Meanwhile, Butters cruised through the Whitworth lineup without allowing a hit. In fact, Whitworth faced an run-rule loss and no-hitter before scoring an unearned run without benefit of a hit in the bottom of the fifth. Finally, in the sixth inning, Sacha Clow hit a one-out single to break up Butters' no-hit bid.

Still, PLU's sophomore hurler improved her season record to 3-0 while walking two and striking out four.

PLU had plenty of offensive stars in this game in addition to Hatlen: Nitta scored three runs, Hall had two hits and scored two runs, Lowery drove in two, and both Robinson and Melissa Harrelson had two hits.

Game Two – PLU 8, Whitworth 0

Whitworth managed just three singles against Hatlen while the Lutes offense was pounding out 11 more hits in this game.

PLU used speed to manufacture a run in the second as Melissa Harrelson drew a two-out walk, stole second and then scored on a single by Haley Harshaw.

The Lutes added two more runs in the fourth on three hits, including Hatlen's two-run bases-loaded single, and they finally broke it open with four more runs on just two hits in the top of the sixth inning. Nitta led off with a single, Hall was hit by a pitch, and Hatlen hit a single to load the bases at the start of the inning, and Robinson drew a walk for the first run. Whitworth pitchers hit two batters, walked another and threw a wild pitch to tack on the next two, and Emily Streeter drove in the inning's last run with a sacrifice fly.

Hatlen hit a single to drive in PLU's final run in the top of the seventh.

In the pitcher's circle, Hatlen retired the side in order five times. The only time that the Pirates put anything together came in the sixth when they hit three consecutive two-out singles, only to see the rally die when the lead runner was thrown out at home.

In support of Hatlen's offensive production, and for the second straight game, Nitta scored three runs, and this time she added two hits.

The two teams conclude their four-game conference series with another doubleheader starting at noon on Sunday.

- PLU -