By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

By the students, for the students of Central Washington University

The Observer

Sports: Central’s five game streak ends in California


The Central Washington University women’s softball team ended its five-game winning streak this past weekend, going 2-4 in California.

The Wildcats went 1-1 against Holy Names, 0-2 against Dominican and 1-1 against the Academy of Art, bringing their overall record to 7-4.

The Wildcats played each team twice over the weekend, playing Holy Names first. Central split the double header, winning game one 6-1 and losing the second 4-3.

The game two loss was the Wildcats’ first loss of the season.

During game one, senior pitcher Maria Gau improved her pitching record to 3-1, giving up just one run during seven innings. Gau struck out six batters and walked just two.

“I think our strengths were pitching. Maria was really consistent,” head coach Mallory Holtman-Fletcher said.

Freshman outfielder Sammy Morris and senior second baseman Jill McDaniels were strong offensively in game one against Holy Names. Morris was 2-2, driving in a runner with an RBI single in the fourth inning. McDaniels had a run scoring double in the third inning, where the Wildcats added three runs.

Freshman pitcher Kiana Wood started the second game. Wood struck out nine batters and surrendered five walks, the last of which scored the winning run for Holy Names.

“It was a bit rough at the beginning, but I feel like our team was able to bond more,” Wood said. “The seniors were positive and helped us to think about what was next.”

The Wildcats then travelled to San Francisco and faced Dominican University, losing both games 2-1 and 3-1.

In game one Central was able to score first.  Sophomore outfielder Remy Bradley drove in junior outfielder Katie Focher who reached base on an infield single earlier in the inning. Sadly, that was the last run for Central, which were held scoreless throughout the next five innings.

Gau threw all six innings, striking out four batters.

In game two Dominican scored first, scoring in the bottom half of the second inning on a single followed by an RBI triple. Central was able to tie up the score, driving in one runner in the fourth inning.  Senior first baseman Maikala Galusha reached base on a fielding error and later scored on an RBI single by starting pitcher Kiana Wood. Dominican came right back, scoring two runs in the bottom of the inning and won the game 3-1.

By day three of their California road trip, the Wildcats were looking to make a comeback.

McDaniels hit her fourth home run of the season and drove in a total of six runs, as the Wildcats split their two game series against the Academy of Art. The Wildcats won the first game 8-0 in five innings and lost the second game 12-10.

In game one Central racked up 11 singles. Maikala Galusha led the team with three RBIs in the game.

Gau, the starting pitcher, held the Academy of Art scoreless in the game, allowing just three hits while striking out two batters in five innings.

In game two the Academy of Art came out swinging. The two teams combined to record 28 hits and 22 runs in a back and forth high-scoring game that the Academy of Art won.

The Academy of Art opened up the first inning by scoring four runs on three hits, taking an early 4-0 lead. Central then answered by scoring four runs in the third inning on a sacrifice fly by sophomore short stop Andrea Hamada, an RBI single by Wilkerson, and an RBI single by Focher.

The two teams continued the back-and-forth battle throughout the following innings. The Academy of Art scored two times in both the fifth and sixth innings to take the win.

“This weekend was a good learning opportunity for us. We had a few high moments and a few low moments but it was a great time for us to battle through those moments of adversity, especially early in the season,” Gau said. “We had to battle from behind and come back. I’m excited about the obstacles that we are facing. I’m excited about how we are going to respond to adversity. We have two weeks till our league opener. California was a good chance to work out some kinks.”

The Wildcats will play their next eight contests at home in Ellensburg, starting with a doubleheader against Simon Fraser on Saturday, March 8, at noon.

“We will be working on offense as well as confidence and really working on not playing down, remembering who we are,” Holtman-Fletcher said.

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