CWU softball falls short in GNAC tournament

Courtesy of Caleb Dunlop

Jacqueline Hixssen, Staff Reporter

The Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) softball tournament started last Thursday, May 5. 

After many changes to the schedule due to weather, the tournament officially took place at Gary and Bobbi Frederick Field in Ellensburg. 

CWU entered the tournament as the fourth seed in the four team, double elimination tournament. 

Game One:  

CWU’s first opponent was number one seed Northwest Nazarene University (NNU), where CWU clinched the win 4-1.  

The game was scoreless until the third inning. 

The Wildcats took the lead during the third inning. With bases loaded, junior catcher and infielder Alyssa Benthagen sent a ball to right center allowing all three bases to score putting CWU up 3-0 on NNU.  

Both CWU and NNU scored  a run in the seventh inning, finalizing the final score of 4-1. 

Rhaney Harris threw a complete game allowing only two hits and three walks. 

Game Two:  

After securing their first win, CWU took on number two seeded Saint Martin’s University (SMU).  

Much like game one, neither team could score throughout the first half of the game. Harris again remained on the mound for game two, shutting down SMU’s lineup 

At the top of the fifth inning, SMU had two singles on bases when Olivia Schmidt sent one right center allowing SMU to go up 2-0.  

The sixth inning went scoreless for both teams and during the seventh inning Ellensburg’s rain forced a 32-minute rain delay.  

Once the rain delay was over and the game had continued, SMU scored right runs  against  CWU pitching to win the game 10-0.  

Game Three: 

After the loss against SMU, CWU faced NNU again in game three.  

Due to both teams having a loss earlier in the tournament, whoever lost the game would see their tournament end. 

NNU struck first in the bottom of the first to grab a 1-0 lead. 

After a scoreless third inning, another rain delay was implemented, this time for 81 minutes.  

The game continued and led to another scoreless inning throughout the fourth.  

At the top of the fifth, CWU Makenna King and Jillian Hampson both  hit  singles to put runners on first and second base with no outs.  

With King and Hampson now in scoring position, CWU batters hit a ground out followed by a strike out and another ground out, leaving CWU scoreless heading into the bottom of the fifth.  

During the bottom of the fifth, the Nighthawks had runners on second and third. NNU secured one run before being thrown out by Brooke Jordan.  

In the top of the sixth inning, CWU avoided being shut out. Jordan hit a single putting her on first base. Benthagen then hit a double allowing Jordan to score and put  CWU on the scoreboard.  

CWU started the seventh inning down 2-1. With one last chance to tie the game, NNU’s pitcher shut down any chance CWU had for a rally and ended their season with a 2-1 loss.