By JARYD CLINE, staff reporter
The Wildcats (11-10, 9-5 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) defeated the Vikings (14-14, 6-8) to bring themselves within a half game of second place in the GNAC.
Central dominated the bats in Game 1 after falling behind by one run in the top of the first. Senior catcher Cassi Ellis singled in the bottom of the third to bring in Centrals first run. In the next at bat, junior second baseman Jill McDaniels connected for her eighth home run of the season, increasing Central’s lead to 4-1.
McDaniels then doubled down the left field line, bringing in two more runs. McDaniels’ offensive explosion didn’t stop there as she brought in two more runs with her single up the middle in the bottom of the sixth.
Junior pitcher Maria Gau pitched a six-hit, two-run complete game, striking out 7 Vikings while McDaniels finished the game 3-for-4 with one home run and a career-high seven RBI.
“I’m glad she’s on my team,” head coach Mallory Holtman said of McDaniels. “She’s not the kind of girl you want to play against.”
The bats cooled off for Central in game two of the doubleheader as they only managed six hits compared to 11 the game before. The six hits were enough to send the Vikings home winless in Ellensburg for the second straight season.
“It’s awesome, they’re our rivals and we always want to beat them,” McDaniels said.
Mcdaniels finished the second game hitting 1-3 with the go ahead two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Starting pitcher sophomore Heidy Wells pitched a complete game, giving up three earned runs while striking out Viking 4 batters.
Central is 3-1 this season against Western Washington, after the teams split their two matchups earlier this month.
The Wildcats will be back at home Saturday to take on Simon Fraser University with game one starting at 1 p.m. The games will also be apart of the CWU softball program’s fourth annual ALS Fundraiser to support research for Lou Gehrig’s disease.