Softball gears up for GNAC tournament

Theresa+Moyle%2C+after+hittin+the+ball%2C+runs+to+first+base+in+a+game+against+Western+Oregon+University.
Theresa Moyle, after hittin the ball, runs to first base in a game against Western Oregon University.

Theresa Moyle, after hittin the ball, runs to first base in a game against Western Oregon University.

Xander Fu

Xander Fu

Theresa Moyle, after hittin the ball, runs to first base in a game against Western Oregon University.

Rachel Greve, Staff Reporter

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The CWU Women’s softball team is headed to the GNAC tournament this weekend sitting in the second seed position. The Wildcats will head to Concordia University in Portland, Oregon this weekend where they will play for a chance at a super-regional berth.  

With a four-game sweep over Saint Martin University (SMU), the Wildcats are GNAC champs for the third straight year in a row.

The Wildcats came out strong last weekend, hosting the first half of the four-game series in Ellensburg with an 11-6 and 10-7 victory over the Saints with sophomore Kylie Sweeney securing her first win of the season on the mound.

On Sunday, the Wildcats and Saints headed west for the final two games of the series and regular season where the Wildcats were able to secure two more wins from the Saints, knocking them out of playoff contention with a 5-4 and 5-3 victories.

Freshmen pitcher Lexie Strasser was able to get her 18th win of the season in the first contest on Sunday while freshman infielder Alycia Bannan came in with a pinch-hit three-run home run, leading the Wildcats to their final score of 5-4.

With nine conference loses, three of those coming from the co-conference campions Northwest Nazarene University (NNU), the Wildcats are hoping to face the Nighthawks in the tournament and to earn the win they rightfully deserve.

“I think if we are able to play [NNU] again we will be way better than when we played them earlier in the season,” senior outfielder Celine Fowler said. “We know what to expect from them this time and we are ready to take them on.”

Fowler, a four-year starter for the Wildcats, has a .279 batting average and .309 slugging percentage.

With Fowler in the outfield and sophomore Taylor Williams on the mound, the team is looking strong at the end of the season.

“I am confident in this team. I really think they have the ability to take the GNAC title,” head coach Mike Larabee said.

Williams, who was honored as GNAC Pitcher of the Week last week, said she is finally getting to where she needs to be mentally and couldn’t be happier that she is peaking at this time of the season.

“It’s really a mental game and I was in my head a lot at the beginning of the season,” Williams said.

It wasn’t until Williams didn’t make the travel team to one of the team’s tournaments in Las Vegas, Nevada that Williams realized she wanted to be out on the field with her team.

The Wildcats leave for Portland this week and look to take on Simon Fraser University at  4:30 p.m. on Thursday in the first round of the GNAC tournament. The tournament is a double elimination.

The Wildcats lost to Western Oregon University last year in game five to send them home.

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Softball gears up for GNAC tournament